News Round-Up

Birds sniff out potential mates who are genetically different


I’ll never forget the heady scent of Cindy, my first major crush. Sometimes, I catch a whiff of her Hawaiian Ginger Body Mist perfume and I’m transported 15 years back in time and straight into a darkened club. Calgon, take me away.

Many of us have experienced the power of a nostalgic scent triggering our memories. Of course, our sense of smell doesn’t only serve to remind us of our long-lost loves. Smell can inform us of the presence of enticing food nearby, or it can warn us of dangerous toxins in the environment. We can even smell when our companions are ill.

Our body odour is affected by many factors. The food we eat, our stress levels, if we are healthy or sick, the bacteria and fungi that naturally live on our bodies and even our genetic makeup can all affect the way we smell. MORE

Header image: Birds groom themselves by rubbing preen oil over their feathers with their beaks. Credit: Shutterstock.