|Smokey with tic trefoil|
Audubon magazine's Sniff Test describes a study of potentially threatened ornate box turtles in the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. To find them they used the sophisticated canine nose. In ten days, five Boykin spaniels located 97 turtles, ordinarily a full summer's work for olfactory-challenged bipeds like us.
Dogs have at least 200 million scent receptors and in the right conditions can outperform humans seven times. "Across the country, canines are aiding researchers, from locating grizzly bear scat in Montana to sniffing out invasive wolf snails in Oahu, Hawaii."
If I had just listened closely to Smokey, he could have told me that. I'll be doggoned!
An interesting blog on box turtle reproduction is at ozarknature.com.