Pumping, snorkeling, talking - the amazing talents of animal noses

Pumping, snorkeling, talking - the amazing talents of animal noses

The nose of a chief

"Hey, I'm the boss here!" screams the colorful nose of the male Mandrill Ape - dominant males crow with brighter colors than those of inferiors. When a Mandrill gets mad or aroused, the blue parts on its nose glow even stronger. The red color stems from the Mandrill's high blood circulation, the blue results from the light breaking on its skin.

Pumping, snorkeling, talking - the amazing talents of animal noses

The all-rounder nose

Elephants trumpet, smell, grab, fight and even snorkel with their nose. Strictly speaking the elephant's trunk is a fusion of nose and upper lip. It also serves for communication, for example, when flehmening. That's a way to pick up scent or pheromones, which is especially important during mating season for males. Not only can the elephant smell its adored female's odor, but it can also taste it.

Pumping, snorkeling, talking - the amazing talents of animal noses

The bulge nose for mating

The sea elephant got its name from its bulging nose, which may remind you of an elephant's trunk. It dangles down over the animal's muzzle. During mating season the male pumps up his mouth with blood and air and gives off a loud noise to chase away its rivals. But both males and females absorb moisture through their noses - especially when fasting during mating season.

Pumping, snorkeling, talking - the amazing talents of animal noses

Nose vs. sting

One of the triggerfish's favorite dishes is sea urchins. So to ensure it doesn't get stung, the triggerfish developed a long "nose." To get to the soft and tasty interior of a sea urchin, the fish (the one in the photo is called Picasso) blows a strong jet of water on its prey, or clutches one sting with its mouth, and uses it to lift up the urchin and attack.

Pumping, snorkeling, talking - the amazing talents of animal noses

The tube snout

What looks like a terribly long nose is actually the snout of the Giant Anteater. Its actual nose is at the very tip of it, and snoops in nooks and crannies for food - mostly ants and termites. When it finds a tasty morsel, the anteater stretches out a 90 centimeter-long (35 inches) gluing tongue and sticks its prey to it - 160 times per minute!

Pumping, snorkeling, talking - the amazing talents of animal noses

The plug socket nose

The plug socket-like nose of a pig may look ugly to some, but it is very sensitive. It senses, feels, and smells scents up to 50 cm deep in the soil. Pigs have even more olfactory cells than the fine-nosed dog. That's why they are great truffle tracers. Sows are especially good at it - the smell of the precious mushrooms is very close to that of male pigs' pheromones.

Pumping, snorkeling, talking - the amazing talents of animal noses

The sniffy and spoiled

Pug-nosed dogs are a human creation. They're nearly square in shape, and said to have been first reared in China centuries ago as an exclusive privilege of the emperor. Later it accompanied noble ladies in paintings. People have bred pug dogs for entertainment, but the dog suffers - its respiratory organs are highly contracted, giving it its characteristic panting and leading to illness.

We humans use our noses to breathe and smell, and they're not that great for smelling. Other animals are much more advanced. Here are the 6 most splendid animal noses - and one poor devil.