Structure, function and context : the impact of morphometry and ecology on olfactory sensitivity
MetadataShow full item record
In this thesis, the relationships of olfactory sensitivity to three biological variables were tested. The sensitivity of a marine mammal, the sea otter (Enhydra lutris) was measured in order to determine whether a marine lifestyle results in impaired olfaction. The effect of dietary relevance on sensitivity to specific odorants was evaluated. Finally, a new morphometric model of olfactory uptake efficiency was developed and tested against behavioral measurements of olfactory sensitivity in twelve mammalian species from five orders. Olfactory thresholds were obtained for the first time from two sea otters for seven odorant compounds from various natural sources. Otters were trained using operant conditioning to participate in direct behavioral testing. Sea otter olfactory sensitivity was comparable to that of previously studied terrestrial mammals. The incidence of an odorant in the diet of the olfactor was found to influence specific sensitivity to that compound but to varying degrees among different mammalian orders. Nasal cavity specimens were measured using radiologic (CT scan) and histologic (light microscopy) techniques. Surface areas and volumes of the nasal cavity were used to calculate the Olfactory Uptake Efficiency (OUE). OUE is significantly related to olfactory bulb volume. A possible relationship was found between OUE and general olfactory sensitivity.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution February, 2005
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Seismic and magnetic constraints on the structure of upper oceanic crust at fast and slow spreading ridges Hussenoeder, Stefan A. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1998-09)The upper ocean crust contains a comprehensive record of the shallow geological processes active along the world's mid-ocean ridge system. This thesis examines the magnetic and seismic structure of the upper crust at two ...
Cell cycle dynamics and the physiology of saxitoxin biosynthesis in Alexandrium fundyense (Dinophyceae) Taroncher-Oldenburg, Gaspar (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1998-03)The mechanism of saxitoxin (STX) biosynthesis in marine dinoflagellates of the genus Alexandrium is still unknown. The aim of this thesis was to analyze novel aspects of toxigenesis during the cell cycle in Alexandrium ...
Ponte, Rui Vasques de Melo (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1988-01)Analysis of vertical profiles of absolute horizontal velocity collected in January 1981, February 1982 and April 1982 in the central equatorial Pacific as part of the Pacific Equatorial Ocean Dynamics (PEQUOD) program, ...