After listening to episode our episode from Colchester, VT (SY-2120), A from Madison, WI left us this note about Flehmen.
The (I think) larger number of people who have cats than horses have, no doubt observed flehmening in their felines–and it doesn’t have a sound. I think it exposes a very acute olfactory area, but you would have to consult a veterinarian to confirm that.
A, we’re not veterinarians, so we can’t help you out with your acute olfactory, but we can say a thing or two about our bluffing round. The definition on Paula’s card was: “flehmen — (of horses and other animals) To inhale with the upper lip curled back. Origin: German.” The card specifically mentioned horses because the effect is much more visually dramatic in horses than in cats.
We’re sure that many cat owners have observed this very flattering look, but for those of us who don’t own a cat, the image of a horse flehmen is pretty distinct. Paula never mentioned that flehmen has a sound, but as some of you might have just found out, if you try to flehmen it can be a little noisy.
In honor of all animals who flehmen, a look at some of the best.