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Animals That Use Their Sense of Smell to Survive



Category: Big stinker

This cute red beetle with its black dots that are so fun to count has a nasty side. If they are disturbed, ladybugs produce smelly chemicals from their knees! They want to show predators that they would taste awful. As this approach obviously works, there are a few copycats: beetles that “dress up” in black and red even though they’re not poisonous.


Ladybug Ladybug - Photo: Christian Mueller/Shutterstock


Skung Frog

Category: Big stinker

Skunk frog nearby? Stay away!The Venezuelan skunk frog is the stinkiest frog in the world. When it feels threatened, it produces a slime that smells strongly of sweat. This frog is so rare that it hasn’t been seen since the ‘90s. But maybe someone has smelled one.




Category: Big stinker (who knew?)

A stink that travels 2.4 miles (4 km)? No problem! Skunks spray their stinky liquid into their enemies’ eyes. The potion is so powerful that it can even blind animals and humans (temporarily). Tip: never get closer than 19.6 feet (6 meters) to a skunk, as they can’t spray any further. If your clothing gets spray on it, please throw it away. Unless you want people to be able to smell you from 4 kilometers way (“Oh look, there he is.....urghhh”). The smell is like a combination of garlic, sweat and burned rubber.

Skunk Skunk - Photo: James Coleman/Shutterstock


Dwarf Boa

Category: Horrible Stinker

“I’m dead and smell like it” The Cuban dwarf boa should try its luck in Hollywood. When in danger, this acting snake bursts blood vessels so that it bleeds from its mouth and nose. It then emits a smell that stinks like rotting flesh. And just like that, the appetite is gone.


Giant Emperor Moth

Category: Keen smeller

“Ah, there you are, honey!” The male emperor moth is a butterfly and a passionate sniffer that can smell his fair lady from 11 km away. Just one scent molecule is enough.

Giant Emperor Moth Giant Emperor Moth - Photo: Dmytro Pylypenko/Shutterstock



Category: Keen smeller

Weird! Being able to smell illnesses - sounds crazy, right? Some animals can. And these animals are among us: Dogs! If you train them, they can smell a single grain of salt in 10,000 tons of chips. And it seems they can even sniff out cancer. But training is very complicated and their success rate unclear.



Category: Keen smeller

Did you know that fish can smell too? Young salmon swim from the river to the sea at the age of 1-3. As soon as they grow up, they return. Of course, it’s useful to have some clues about where your home river is. But salmon have no idea where they’re going. They can smell their home rivers from several kilometers away. By the way: eels, sharks and whales can smell as well.

Salmon Salmon - Photo: bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock



Category: Keen smeller

Tick tock. Tick tock. Rats are often treated unfairly. Even though they’re intelligent and even feel empathy, they are about as popular as cockroaches. They can even smell better than dogs. They can even smell explosives and help people remove land mines.



Category: Keen smeller

Need a water diviner? Without water, most animals are done for. To find water in nature, lots of animals rely on their senses of smell. Elephants can smell it over several kilometers - even though water doesn’t really smell to us humans.

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