Olfaction in bird dogs during hunting.

Department of Biology, University of Oslo, Norway.
Acta Physiologica Scandinavica (Impact Factor: 2.55). 06/1996; 157(1):115-9.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The ability to catch scent continuously while running, which may be an essential skill for many animals of prey, requires that ambient air flows inward through the nose also during expiration. In this study on bird dogs, the direction of air flow was detected by measuring the temperature in the air inside the nostril. While resting, nose ventilation was synchronous with lung ventilation. While searching for ground scent, the dog was sniffing at a frequency of up to 200 s-1, a strategy which may create turbulence in the nasal passages and thereby enhance transport of scent molecules to the receptors in the ethmoidal cavity. When the bird dog was searching for game while running with its head high against the wind, it maintained a continuous inward air stream through the nose for up to 40s spanning at least 30 respiratory cycles. We suggest that expiratory gas flowing at high velocity from the trachea to the mouth cavity creates a lower pressure than in the nose thus causing an inward air stream through the nose during expiration by a Bernoulli effect.

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