What is a Jackobson’s organ

Olfactory senses are better developed in reptiles than in amphibians. In addition to having more olfactory epithelium, most reptiles (except crocodilians) possess blind-ending pouches that open into the mouth These  pouches, called Jacobson’s (vomeronasal) organs, are best developed in snakes and lizards. The protrusible, forked tongue of snakes and lizards are accessory olfactory organs used to sample airborne chemicals. A snake’s tongue flicks out and then moves to the Jacobson’s organs, which perceive odor molecules. Turtles and the tuatara use Jacobson’s organs to taste objects held in the mouth.




Figure 2.30  Anatomic relationships of Jacobson’s  organ

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