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How do dogs smell?

Smelling involves special cells in the nose, nerves to carry the messages to the brain, and a part of the brain called the olfactory bulb. Special cells, called olfactory cells, are present in the soft, pink, internal skin in the nose. These cells can bind with "odor" molecules, which are chemicals dissolved in the air. At the base of each olfactory cell, is a tiny nerve which runs to the part of the brain which interprets smells. Mucous cells, which are also in the inside of the nose, produce mucus. Mucus helps to dissolve the chemicals so that they can react with the olfactory cells and then to wash away the chemicals after they have been "smelled". Animals differ greatly in the types and amount of chemicals they can detect in the air, but dogs are very good at smelling.

Laura Hungerford

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