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Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 148, Supplement 2, pp 191–194 | Cite as

Avian olfaction: then and now

  • Bernice M. Wenzel
Review

Abstract

Avian olfaction has been a small but persistent research topic for the last half century. For an entire symposium to be devoted to it testifies to growing understanding of its importance in avian behavior, physiology, and ecology. Without Bang’s early papers describing the anatomy of the olfactory cavity along with the development of olfactory mucosa in several avian species, or her and Cobb’s measurements of the olfactory bulb in over 100 species, avian olfaction as a serious research topic might have had little appeal. Beginning in the early 1960s, my laboratory studied the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the avian olfactory system as well as behavioral effects of olfactory stimuli. Over the years, other laboratories have taken up these topics and by now a good body of research has been produced, most on behavioral aspects of olfaction. This emphasis is an essential contribution to avian biology because the ultimate question for avian olfaction is how birds use their olfactory system.

Keywords

Odor perception Odor cues Olfactory anatomy Olfactory physiology Olfactory sensitivity 

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Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physiology, David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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