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Sense of Smell: Chemoreception

Sense of Smell: Chemoreception

(p.125) Chapter 6 Sense of Smell: Chemoreception
The Biology of Sharks and Rays
A. Peter Klimley
University of Chicago Press

The cartilaginous fishes, in particular the sharks, can detect their prey at great distances using their senses of smell and hearing. This chapter discusses the anatomy of the olfactory receptor, how it differs among different species, the receptor's sensitivity to a myriad of chemicals, and the ability to localize the source of an odor source. Molecules of various chemicals in continuous water flows create a gradient from a high to a low concentration. Cartilaginous fishes detect these molecules, which are dissolved in water, as they pass through their nasal cavities; this process is called chemoreception. The cartilaginous fishes are sensitive to a wide spectrum of chemicals, those most attractive are amino acids and amines.

Keywords:   sharks, cartilaginous fishes, olfactory receptor, animon acids, amines

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