There’s no scent like home

Published May 08, 2008

Damselfish and smell: Marine scientists working on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have uncovered evidence that baby damselfish, only a centimeter long, manage to find the way to their home coral reef across miles of open sea by using their sense of smell! In damsels and other fish, a pair of tiny nostril-like holes, called nares, open to a chamber lined with sensory pads. When water moves across these pads, chemical signals incite the fish to react. In baby damsels, the chemical makeup or “smell” of home (a rich mixture of the proteins and amino acids emitted by corals) encourages them to chose a current that leads to their original reef.
Previous Post

Featured Stories

kemps-ridley-sea-turtle-swimming Animal Rescue Update: Rescue Sea Turtles

Canuck the loggerhead will be the only sea turtle patient left in our care after National Aquarium Animal Rescue releases 37 sea turtles in Florida next week.

Read the full story

artificial-oyster-reef-in-inner-harbor Harbor Happenings: Artificial Oyster Reef

The National Aquarium is taking another step to revitalize Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and attract native species with a new artificial oyster reef using shells from the Oyster Recovery Partnership!

Read the full story

Related Stories

Animal Update: Bicolor Damselfish

Published April 14, 2017

Animal Update: New Additions to Surviving Through Adaptation Exhibit

Published November 11, 2016