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Computer Model Explains Cats' Sense of Smell

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A cat.

Cats’ nasal sensitivity might also explain why they make the characteristic “stinky face” when they smell something unpleasant.

Credit: Omaly Darcia/500px/Getty Images

A computational model of a house cat's nose developed by researchers at the Ohio State University aims to explain the complexity of a cat's sense of smell.

The model, based on computed tomography scans and tissue slices, shows that a cat's nasal passages direct airflow through turbinates, a network of tightly coiled channels with smell receptors throughout.

The researchers determined this coiled structure contains more smell receptors, and is over 100 times more efficient, than straight nasal channels, like those of amphibians and some mammals.

In technical terms, the researchers liken a cat's nose to a gas chromatograph, which separates compounds based on solubility.

From Scientific American
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, D.C., USA


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