Doubly nosy fish – I’ve got two sets of nostrils!

Tompot blenny RL 1310 156

It’s not just my head tentacles that go with the swell! The small tentacles (called cirri) around my nostrils swish around too when its rough. Have a close look at this photo; just over my lower nostrils you can see that I’ve got a little crown of these fine tentacles. They detect smells (chemicals) in the water as it flows into the nostrils. Before the water flows out again through my upper nostrils, it passes over a lot more sensitive cells that add to my knowledge of what’s around. Can you see my upper nostrils? They don’t have any tentacles, are just level with my eyes and look a bit like miniature volcanoes! My sense of smell helps me find food or a mate. It’s really important and takes over from my eyesight when the water is too murky for me to see clearly.

You can also see several other little round holes on my head. They are either pores for drawing in water to help me sense what direction the good/bad smells are coming from, or are there to detect water movement.

The water temperature is dropping slowly and its now 13 degrees. It calmed down for a couple of days last week and I was able to go out for a good hunt. I have to make the most of it when I can. It’s now turned incredibly rough again, well it is winter!

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