The neglected sense-olfaction in primate behavior, ecology, and evolution

Am J Primatol. 2006 Jun;68(6):519-24. doi: 10.1002/ajp.20249.


This special issue emerged from a symposium held during the 20th Congress of the International Primatological Society in Torino, Italy, in August 2004. The symposium brought together scientists studying several different aspects of olfaction in primates. The topics addressed ranged from the morphology and physiology of the sensory apparatus, the genetics and chemistry of olfactory signals and the use of such signals in primate communication, to a comparative analysis of the role of olfaction in neural evolution. The papers in this issue reflect a surge of interest in diverse aspects of olfaction-an interest that has been stimulated by the more rigorous theoretical approaches and new techniques that have recently become available. This introduction briefly reviews past research on primate olfaction, summarizes the scope of this special issue, and provides a somewhat speculative glimpse of the future.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Communication
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Ecology / trends*
  • Humans
  • Primates / physiology*
  • Smell / physiology*