Most animals that have been studied so far detect pheromones with highly sensitive structures called olfactory receptors. These receptors are located in different places in different kinds of animals.
How Pheromones Are Received
In general, vertebrate animals have noses with which they investigate odors in the world around them. Inside the nose is an open space, the nasal cavity, that is lined with 0factory receptors. As an animal draws air through its nose, pheromone molecules come into contact with the olfactory receptors and are detected.
Fish detect pheromones in their watery world by circulating water through their nasal cavities. Many kinds of invertebrates have a pair of antennae projecting from their head. The surface of each antenna is covered with tiny peg-shaped olfactory receptors. The pegs have thin walls that are perforated with small holes called pores. Pheromone molecules enter a receptor by way of these pores and are detected inside. Learn about the truth on pheromones at https://jail6letter.wordpress.com
Pheromones and Olfactory Receptors
The more pores per peg, the more sensitive the olfactory receptor is to various odors in the environment. Grasshoppers, for example, have about 150 pores in each peg, but some male moths have many more. A male silkworm moth has approximately 17,000 pegs on each antenna, with each peg containing up to 3,000 pores. This means that each antenna has close to 50 million pores through which pheromone molecules can pass and be detected!
Different Types of Pheromone Messages
Now that you have an idea of how animals send and receive pheromone messages, let’s examine some of the types of messages they are known to exchange.
A great many kinds of animals release sex pheromones. These chemical messages help to bring together male and female animals of the same species so that successful mating can occur. Most sex pheromones, like bombykol, are powerful attractants. Female dogs that are ready to mate give off an odor that has a dramatic effect on male dogs. Males will break their leashes, jump high fences, and travel considerable distances in their efforts to reach a female dog who is broadcasting this pheromone message.
Some animals make sex pheromone “pathways” that potential mates can follow. Certain kinds of female spiders, for instance, spin long lengths of silk that contain pheromones. These delicate silken threads lead male spiders directly to waiting females. In some species, it is the male rather than the female who releases sex pheromones. In either case, the pheromone signals involved in mating are very complex. Animals respond only to very specific signals sent by members of their particular species.
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