Is olfaction - that is, sense of smell - more important to South African fur seals than previously thought?
Marine mammals are traditionally considered to have poor sense of smell. However, studies that have observed their behavior suggest that olfaction may play an important role in social communication, reproductive behavior and food selection.
My aim with my thesis was to determine the olfactory discrimination ability of South African fur seals for carboxylic acids, aldehydes and esters.
The odorant classes used were chosen because they differ in frequency of occurrence in the marine environment, and are thus likely to differ in behavioral relevance.
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Last updated: 06/09/08