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Smelling to Survive
Smelling to Survive

Smelling to Survive

The Amazing World of Our Sense of Smell


352 Pages, 5.43 x 8.5

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $22.95 (CA $30.95) (US $22.95)

Publication Date: July 2023

ISBN 9781915054494

Rights: US, CA, AU & NZ

Legend Times Group (Jul 2023)

Price: $22.95


Smell is arguably the least understood sense, yet it has always been a vital component of the human experience, and that of all living creatures.

It has been used by plants and animals for millions of years to warn, to attract, to identify, to navigate and even to mislead. Smelling to Survive explains some of these fascinating processes, and explores how the past would have smelt quite different to our ancestors, and how future technologies will further change the world of scents.

Along the way, leading scientist Bill Hansson recounts amazing stories from the world of olfactory research: from the tobacco plant that excretes an alarm odor, to mosquitos that cherish the smell of sweaty feet, to lilies that imitate the fragrance of horse manure. Hansson explains why scientists are interested in the smell that surrounds teenage males, and how climate change affects the smell of our environment. He describes research trips to Christmas Island, where crabs with particularly keen noses crack coconuts on the beach, and outlines studies that reveal how penguins recognize their partner by their scent.

Author Biography

The neuroethologist Bill S. Hansson, who was born in Sweden in 1959, served as Vice President of the Max Planck Society, and currently directs the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena and is an honorary professor at the Friedrich Schiller University. His research centers on the question of how plants and insects communicate through scent.