While Kuznetsov ( 1979) found that the Black Sea bottlenose dolphin was insensitive to saccharose and glucose, we found that the Pacific bottlenose dolphin did report the presence of sucrose. Sucrose levels of 0.2, 0.15, 0.08, 0.04, and 0.02 M were reported at 92, 96, 71, 81, 76, and 65% correct respectively. These levels show that dolphins detect sucrose, they do not detect it nearly as well as do humans.
While we now know that dolphins detect chemicals which humans report as producing sensations of sour, bitter, salty, and sweet, we still know very little about dolphin chemoreception. Chemicals which to us taste bitter and quite unappealing did not seem to bother the dolphin in the slightest. Further the possibility of pheromonal communication by cetaceans has not been examined. There is much work for future patient researchers in the area of dolphin, and other marine mammal, chemoreception.
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