Reptiles and Smell
Reptiles have a sense of smell which is somewhat different than ours. Smelling is important to not only reptiles, but also to many of the animals we think of as traditional pets, like cats and dogs. Reptiles have an olfactory system that allows them to have a keen sense of smell.
Types of Reptiles and Smell
Generally, the types of smell that reptiles pick up on may vary from species to species. But generally speaking, reptiles can smell through the receptor of their special organs such as Jacobson’s organ (which is located in the roof of their mouth). They can detect airborne particle molecules, thermal radiation and electromagnetic radiation.
How Reptiles Use Smell
Reptiles primarily use smell for several purposes. These include:
- Search for food: Reptiles, like humans, smell food to locate it. They have special receptors located in their olfactory organs that can detect certain smells, allowing them to search for food.
- Mating: Male reptiles may detect pheromones left by female reptiles as an invitation to mating.
- Basic navigation: Reptiles may be able to sense certain smells in the environment and use them to orient themselves.
Reptiles rely on their sense of smell to locate food and to navigate their environment. It is believed that they have a sensitivity level higher than our own and can detect smells that are undetectable by humans. It is important to remember that the sense of smell varies greatly depending on the type of reptile.