Extraordinary Animals With The Best Sense Of Smell


Most people know that dogs are extraordinary sniffers, but what about others in the animal kingdom? From rats that use their olfactory receptor to detect peril to sharks that use their olfactory system to smell their prey, we list unique animals with the best sense of smell. Get ready for a nasal confrontation with these animals!

Animals with the best sense of smell: how and why?

These animals have all developed their keen senses to survive in the wild. Unlike humans, animals base their actions solely on the senses, that is, on the need for highly functional senses.

Many animals also use olfactory receptors to communicate with each other. An example of this is the way females produce pheromones during mating, which allows the opposite gender to seek them out and reproduce.

Although man’s best friends were not included in this List, even dog shirt wearers can appreciate the diversity of the animal kingdom. Enjoy reading and learning about these creatures!

African Elephant

The highly developed sense of smell of these African giants is no joke. A study among these awesome beings revealed that African Elephants have about two thousand functional olfactory receptor genes.

For comparison, this is about four times that of an average person. So their long nose is not just for show.

The results of this study come as a shock to many, because it was previously thought that rats, and not elephants, were the most powerful sniffers in the animal kingdom.

That said, these adorable creatures are unfortunately on the verge of extinction. A report by the Great Elephant Census shows that their number decreases by an average of eight percent every year.

It doesn’t help that many of them have also been held captive for enjoyment purposes, like Barnum’s legendary Elephants. Fortunately, these shows are under a lot of pressure from the public and many of them have already been interrupted.

Take the time to appreciate these giant sniffers and commit to preserving them today!


Then the cute crawling snakes are on the List! Okay, so maybe they’re not cute for everyone, but no one will deny the strength of their ability to smell, not even their competitors for the title.

Interestingly, however, snakes don’t really sniff, they are more of a treat. This means that you taste and detect the fragrance particles in the air with your tongue.

But with that, another question comes to mind. If snakes use their tongue to smell, what is their nose for? I mean, they still have nostrils, don’t they?

The answer is quite simple and obvious: you use it to breathe. Even if you don’t use it to smell, you clearly need this organ to survive.

Moth of the night

You may have never heard of moths that have a good olfactory ability or other insects. However, the truth is that moths actually have finely tuned olfactory receptors, more precisely their antennae, with which they work every day.

The smell is a very important factor in a moth’s life and affects some of its most important behaviors. For example, they find their partners by detecting pheromones. The females also find a nesting site by smelling the plants.

Although their method can be quite eccentric, it does not make it less powerful. However, it has its weaknesses, first of all, it is more suitable for perfumes that are already familiar to moths. For example, although you can sniff some plants, you probably won’t be able to distinguish between a Cheeseburger and a bacon.

Grizzly Bears

Another animal that deserves a place on this List is the Wild Grizzly Bear. These wild animals are known for their acute sense of smell, necessary for their survival in the wild.

Although their senses are not as extraordinary as other canids such as dogs or hyenas, the Grizzly still has a respectable nose in itself. First of all, this is due to the size of your nose, in particular your nasal mucosa, which is about a hundred times larger than that of a person.

Perhaps that is why the Grizzly is able to navigate the environment and hunt down food. It is also suggested that the bears use olfactory markers to communicate with each other.

White Shark

Another well-known predator, the great white shark, is similar to its terrestrial counterparts in that it needs a sharp odor sensor to detect possible prey from kilometers away. It is generally said that you can smell a single drop of blood in ten billion drops of water.

These awesome creatures have evolved specifically to adapt to their environment. In fact, about two-thirds of the weight of your brain is spent on processing perfume particles, which emphasizes its importance for your survival.

If you’re wondering where your nostrils are, it’s actually under your muzzle. It has also been said that great whites have the largest olfactory bulb among the others of their species, which makes them very effective hunters.

Combined with their unearthly electrical reception, sight and hearing… are they really the great hunters of the sea.

African Giant Pocket Rat

Rats are not only among the best little pets for children, they are also one of the best sniffers in the animal kingdom. These awesome rodents include the African giant pocket rat, an awesome animal native to Central Africa.

These rodents are not average rats, reaching the size of a cat. In addition, they have extremely poor vision. However, what they lack in sight, they make up for with their exceptional sense of smell.

In fact, their oral receptors are too good for them to actually be trained to work as professional bomb detectors. They are especially good at detecting land mines, since their low weight is not enough to detonate bombs, even when they are crushed.

A non-profit organization called APOPO specializes in building an army of these bomb sniffers to eradicate the remaining minefields in Africa and other parts of the world. Since their creation in 1997, they have been able to clean more than thirteen thousand mines around the world.


This may come as a surprise to some, but in fact, cows are among the best sniffers in the world. They are especially good at spotting food sources or predators, even if those things are six miles away.

They are also said to have a stronger sense of smell than dogs, as they can distinguish odorous particles from each other. This is especially useful when you are trying to avoid harmful plants and other things that could harm you.

Their meaning is such that it is usually not advisable to wear something Strong when you are around them. This can overwhelm your nose and cause unnecessary stress for these darlings.

You can even learn to sniff a specific cow from a herd of a thousand cows (especially useful for mothers, because calves basically look the same). They would also have twenty times more receptors than we have in our nostrils.

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