Ocean Birds Can Smell Their Dinner From Miles Away

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For a long time, it was believed that birds could not smell anything, but a researcher in the department of neurobiology at the University of California, Davis, now says that certain ocean birds can smell their food from as far as 12 miles away.

They do this by picking up the smell of dimethyl sulfide, which to them is a sure sign of food in the vicinity. We recognize that smell as the scent of the sea shore, but to ocean birds, it means dinner. Dimethyl sulfide is created when krill consume phytoplankton. Birds like albatross and their relatives are particularly good at detecting that odor. Apparently, birds themselves also smell, and they smell badly and distinctly, which is how they can pick out their immediate family, including parents and mates.

This article from the Vancouver Sun explains it in greater detail.

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