- Give three examples of how animals, including humans, use their sense of smell.
- Give two examples of how a marine mammal might smell an airborne scent.
- Why would breaching into the wind help a whale catch a scent?
- Describe two discoveries described in this story that suggest humpback and bowhead whales are excellent smellers.
- What is the purpose of the olfactory bulb?
- What do acetone levels indicate about insulin levels in people with diabetes?
- Why are scientists looking for an alternate way to measure insulin levels in diabetics?
- How would a device that can sniff nitric oxide levels help people with asthma?
- Describe how a simple smell test could help diagnose Parkinson’s disease.
- What would be the risk of using a smell test to diagnose Parkinson’s?
- Brainstorm with a partner about an experiment that could show whether humpback whales really do use their sense of smell to find food.
- Electronic “noses” could sniff scents that are too dull, dainty or dangerous for human noses. List as many tasks that would be suitable for such devices as you can.
- A nice note, soothing music and soft place to sit can all help people feel welcome in new surroundings. Describe a smell or smells that could do the same. List one or more reasons why you think a soothing smell might have that effect.
- Should we worry whether human activities interfere with how animals use their sense of smell to find food, avoid danger or communicate? Why or why not?