One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A scent organ consisting of a pair of sacs or tubes typically in the roof of the mouth. Such organs are present in many vertebrates, notably snakes and lizards.
- ‘Snakes use their forked tongues to detect prey, sticking them out every few seconds to obtain scent particles, then inserting them into ‘scent chambers, ‘called the Jacobson's organ, inside the mouth.’’
- ‘Unlike mammals, the dragon relies on two specialised olfactory or nasal chambers, called Jacobson's organs, located in the roof of its mouth.’
- ‘The snake may indeed be smelling her; the extended tongue probes the air and gathers scent, which is carried to the odor-sensitive Jacobson's organ inside the mouth.’
Mid 19th century: named after Ludwig L. Jacobson (1783–1843), Danish anatomist.
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