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Complex Chemical Analysis

The Vomeronasal Organ

The Vomeronasal Organ in most vertebrates performs the complex chemical analysis.

If you see your dog or cat “licking” at urine and then seemingly pushing the tongue up on the palate, like a wine connoisseur, or if you see them sniff with their mouth partly open, eyes slit, and then maybe drool profusely, and maybe chomp or swish their lips like a fine wine taster, that’s the use of the vomeronasal complex.  They are performing a phlehmen (pronounced flay-men) gesture, or phlehmen response.  Some dogs may look like they are smiling, crinkling their nose, almost sneezing, while they perform the phlehmen response.

Human Sixth Sense

Click here for Bryn Mawr College’s Interdisciplinary Serendip Community discussion of “The Sixth Sense: The Vomeronasal Organ” in humans, and the scientific evidence that we may also have this sixth sense!

Return to Bennie’s Story.

Tru Tip

If you found this page surfin’, and searchin’, or combing through VirtuaVet’s Site-Map, and you like science, society, service, philosophy, and interdisciplinary cooperation in exploring life’s questions, Check out the Serendip link (above).  You will have direct access to professors, researchers, thinkers, and an interactive research and thinking community.

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