|MadSci Network: General Biology|
Hi Melissa, Good question - the short answer is, no, caterpillars do not have noses. Instead, they have two short antennae low down on each side of their head, one in front of each cluster of eyes. Caterpillar's antennae are very short, each much like a tiny bristle with a fleshy base, but they have plenty of sensory receptors and are used to determione whether potential food is acceptable - a bit like smell and taste combined. Some caterpillars have other, larger protrusions and bristles, but these are not antennae - they are structures that confuse predators or make them difficult/unpleasant to eat. Anyhow, I hope that answers your question, and I'm sure us mad scientists will enjoy the next one! Dr. Dave Hubble, UK
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