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How Your Dog's Nose Knows So Much | Deep Look

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 Biology   |   Environmental   |   Science
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Support Deep Look on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/deeplook

Dogs have a famously great sense of smell, but what makes their noses so much more powerful than ours? They're packing some sophisticated equipment inside that squishy schnozz.

SUBSCRIBE to Deep Look! http://goo.gl/8NwXqt

DEEP LOOK is a ultra-HD (4K) short video series created by KQED San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios. See the unseen at the very edge of our visible world. Explore big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small.

--- How much more powerful is a dog’s sense of smell compared to a human?
According to one estimate, dogs are 10,000-100,000 times more sensitive to smell than humans. They have about 15 times more olfactory neurons that send signals about odors to the brain. The neurons in a dog’s nose are spread out over a much larger and more convoluted area allowing them more easily decipher specific chemicals in the air.

--- Why are dog noses wet?
Dog noses secrete mucus which traps odors in the air and on the ground. When a dog licks its nose, the tongue brings those odors into the mouth allowing it to sample those smells. Dogs mostly cool themselves by panting but the mucus on their noses and sweat from their paws cool through evaporation.

--- Why do dog nostrils have slits on the side?
Dogs sniff about five times per second. The slits on the sides allows exhaled air to vent towards the sides and back. That air moving towards the back of the dog creates a low air pressure region in front of it. Air from in front of the dog rushes in to fill that low pressure region. That allows the nose to actively bring odors in from in front and keeps the exhaled air from contaminating new samples.

---+ Read the entire article on KQED Science:

https://ww2.kqed.org/science/2019/02/26/how-your-dogs-nose-knows-so-much/

---+ For more information:

The Odor Navigation Project funded NSF Brain Initiative
https://odornavigation.org/

Jacobs Lab of Cognitive Biology at UC Berkeley
http://jacobs.berkeley.edu/

Ecological Fluid Dynamics Lab at University of Colorado Boulder
https://www.colorado.edu/lab/ecological-fluids/

The fluid dynamics of canine olfaction: unique nasal airflow patterns as an explanation of macrosmia (Brent A. Craven, Eric G. Paterson, and Gary S. Settles)
https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsif.2009.0490

---+ More Great Deep Look episodes:

The Fantastic Fur of Sea Otters | Deep Look
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zxqg_um1TXI

You've Heard of a Murder of Crows. How About a Crow Funeral? | Deep Look
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixYVFZnNl6s&t=85s

Newt Sex: Buff Males! Writhing Females! Cannibalism! | Deep Look
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m37QR_4XNY

What Makes Owls So Quiet and So Deadly? | Deep Look
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a68fIQzaDBY

---+ See some great videos and documentaries from PBS Digital Studios!

How James Brown Invented Funk | Sound Field
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AihgZv1D5-4

How To Suck Carbon Dioxide Out of the Sky | Hot Mess
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKtXojkwlK8

What’s the Real Cost of Owning A Pet? | Two Cents
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma3Mt5BPlTE

---+ Follow KQED Science:

KQED Science: http://www.kqed.org/science
Tumblr: http://kqedscience.tumblr.com
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/kqedscience

---+ Shoutout!

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