Electrical recording from small twigs of nerve in a tortoise showed that olfactory, vomeronasal, and trigeminal receptors in the nose are responsive to various odorants. No one kind of receptor was most sensitive to all odorants. For controlled stimulation, odorant was caused to appear in a stream of gas already flowing through the nose. Of the parameters definable at the naris, temperature, relative humidity, and nature of inert gas had little effect on olfactory responses to amyl acetate, whereas odorant species, odorant concentration, and volume flow rate effectively determined the responses of all nasal chemoreceptors. An intrinsic variable of accessibility to the receptors, particularly olfactory, was demonstrated. Flow dependence of chemoreceptor responses is thought to reflect the necessity for delivery of odorant molecules to receptor sites. Since the olfactory receptors are relatively exposed, plateauing of the response with flow rate for slightly soluble odorants suggests an approach to concentration equilibrium in the overlying mucus with that in the air entering the naris. Accordingly, data for responses to amyl acetate were fitted with Beidler's (1954) taste equation for two kinds of sites being active. The requirement for finite aqueous solubility, if true, suggests substitution of aqueous solutions for gaseous solutions. A suitable medium was found and results conformed to expectations. Olfactory receptors were insensitive to variation of ionic strength, pH, and osmotic pressure.
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