Moles Can Smell in Stereo | The Institute for Creation Research

Moles Can Smell in Stereo

Most people have heard of "stereo sound," but not many may be familiar with "stereo vision," which helps many mammals discern depth. Seeing and hearing in stereo helps creatures living above ground, but moles need different equipment. Biologist Kenneth Catania of Vanderbilt University conducted three clever experiments to see if the blind eastern American mole used "stereo smell."

First, he built a chamber with trails that led outward from a central mole entry point, like a semicircle of wheel spokes. He placed a bit of earthworm, which moles love to eat, at the end of one of the trails and watched. On each trial, the mole first sniffed, moving its head back and forth, and then travelled straight to the food. Nature Communications published the results.1

For the second experiment, Catania blocked the mole's left nostril. This skewed the creature's tracking accuracy consistently to the left. Similar results obtained when Catania blocked just the right nostril. Finally, Catania inserted tubes into both nostrils, but the tubes crossed so that each nostril accessed air that would usually enter the other nostril. This left the poor creature totally confused.

"It was amazing. [The moles] found the food in less than five seconds and went directly to the right food well almost every time. They have a hyper-sensitive sense of smell," Catania told Vanderbilt research news.2

Stereo smell can only work if the nervous system can detect a difference in the strength of an odor entering each nostril. Considering the tiny distance between the nostrils, the precision and miniaturization of this biological chemical detector is mind-boggling.

Whether noticed or ignored, one can always detect the scent of the expert Designer behind any expert design. And these blind moles certainly emanate the fragrance of design.

References

  1. Catania, K. C. 2013. Stereo and serial sniffing guide navigation to an odour source in a mammal. Nature Communications. 4 (2).
  2. Salisbury, D. Evidence moles can smell in stereo. Vanderbilt University news. Posted on news.vanderbilt.edu February 5, 3013, accessed February 12, 2013.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on February 27, 2013.

The Latest
NEWS
Claims of 'Freshwater' Plesiosaurs Drowned by the Flood
A new discovery in Morocco’s Saharan Desert has evolutionary scientists making claims that plesiosaurs lived in freshwater too.1 Usually...

NEWS
Brainy Paper Wasps
Wasps (Family Vespidae) have a bad rap, but their benefits actually outweigh their painful sting—although many would disagree! What is the function...

CREATION PODCAST
The Secrets of the Cell | The Creation Podcast: Episode 29
Cells are the basic units of life, and in some forms they are actually organisms. What is a cell? What goes on inside of a cell? Did all life come from...

NEWS
Fossil Footprints Fit Flood Ice-Age Model
Anthropologists Thomas Urban (Cornell University) and Daron Duke (Far Western Anthropological Research Group) recently found preserved human footprints...

NEWS
Deep-Sea Lobster Microbiome
Research continues regarding complex and amazing microbiomes found on or within a variety of creatures.1 The microbiome is a microbial community...

NEWS
"Massively Exciting" Fossil Find
Now this is exciting: “Geologists have found the fossil of the earliest known animal predator. The 560-million-year-old specimen is the first of...

NEWS
Copulation Didn't Kill the Frogs, the Flood Did
Evolutionary scientists recently studied 168 frog fossils from central Germany, concluding that the frogs all drowned while aggressively mating. They claim...

CREATION PODCAST
What Can We Learn From Fossils? | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Is evolution seen in the fossil record? Why are fossilized terrestrial animals found buried with marine creatures? What conditions were needed to form...

NEWS
Be Not Deceived: Spiritually Train to Overcome Secular Science...
Thorough instruction and discipline are the hallmark qualities of a strong military training program. Well-trained soldiers can think on their feet, adapt...

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Jurassic World: Dominion - Fun Movie, Bad Science | Creation.Live...
Covered in feathers, running faster than cars, and living in cold climates...these are just a few of the ideas introduced in Jurassic World: Dominion....