Monday, 9 August 2010

How does a dog with no nose smell? Not very well...

National Geographic have an article this week that reveals that selective breeding to produce dogs with different face shapes has led to their brains being rearranged!

They examined 11 carcasses from 11 different dog breeds, both long-nosed, such as the Greyhound and Jack Russell terrier, and short-nosed, such as the Mastiff and Pug.

They found that the brains of many short-nosed breeds have rotated forward by as much as 15 degrees.

In these breeds the brain region for smell, called the olfactory bulb, has drifted downward toward the base of the skull, perhaps significantly altering the dogs' ability to smell.

"We think of dogs living in a world of smell—but this finding strongly suggests that one dog's world of smell may be very different to another's," study co-author Paul McGreevy of the University of Sydney said in a statement.

Makes you wonder which other bits of the brain have been shuffled, for example what bit of the brain used to be where the olfactory bulb is now found?

Here's a link to the whole article.

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