Twenty-five years before Knut Schmidt-Nielsen discovered salt glands in birds, the structure and development of the nasal or supraorbital glands – that turned out to be the salt glands – were studied by B.J. Marples at the University of Manchester1. The late Jim Linzell and I quoted his work in our monograph on salt glands2. However, his name was unfamiliar to us and we had no idea what had become of him. I always wanted to ask Marples why had worked on the nasal glands. Nothing of their remarkable function was known and the only function anybody could think of was to wash seawater out of the nostrils. Wrong!