Olfactory navigation of pigeons: The effect of treatment with odorous air currents
- Cite this article as:
- Papi, F., Ioalé, P., Fiaschi, V. et al. J. Comp. Physiol. (1974) 94: 187. doi:10.1007/BF00611866
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From fledging time, two groups of homing pigeons were protected for most of the time from wind exposure. Instead, they were subjected to artificial odorous winds. One of the two groups was subjected to an odorous wind of olive oil from the S and an odorous wind of a solvents' mixture (“synthetic turpentine”) from the N. The other group underwent the opposite treatment (odorous wind of olive oil from the N and odorous wind of synthetic turpentine from the S). The birds of the first group, released from two points 21.0 and 26.5 km W of the aviary flew in a northerly direction when olive oil was applied to their nostrils and in a southerly direction when synthetic turpentine was applied. Under the same conditions, the birds of the second group flew in the opposite directions. These results support the olfaction hypothesis of pigeon navigation (Papiet al., 1972).