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Olfaction facts for kids

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Olfactory system
Human olfactory system. 1: Olfactory bulb 2: Mitral cells 3: Bone 4: Nasal epithelium 5: Glomerulus 6: Olfactory receptor neurons

Olfaction is the sense of smell. The sense of smell is how a human or animal notices a smell (or odour or odor) by using the nose. Many animals have better noses than people. Some animals can detect small particles in the air or sometimes water that people cannot.

People have special cells in the nose that can detect some chemicals. These are special nerve cells attached to the olfactory epithelium. All vertebrates have these cells. The smell is first processed by the olfactory system. The information is given to the olfactory bulb in the front of the forebrain.

In insects, smells are sensed by sensilia on the antennae and first processed by the antennal lobe.

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