Olfactory communication and neighbor recognition in giant kangaroo rats

Citation
Hg. Murdock et Ja. Randall, Olfactory communication and neighbor recognition in giant kangaroo rats, ETHOLOGY, 107(2), 2001, pp. 149-160
Citations number
34
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ETHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0179-1613 → ACNP
Volume
107
Issue
2
Year of publication
2001
Pages
149 - 160
Database
ISI
SICI code
0179-1613(200102)107:2<149:OCANRI>2.0.ZU;2-5
Abstract
We hypothesized that olfactory communication facilitates neighbor recogniti on in the giant kangaroo rat, Dipodomys ingens, and is therefore influentia l in coordinating social interactions in this solitary, desert rodent. We t ested whether (i) D. ingens can discriminate between odors of same- and opp osite-sex conspecifics; and (ii) the kangaroo rats exhibit scent preference s based on familiarity. In habituation-discrimination tests, we found that both genders distinguish differences between the scent of individuals of th e same- and opposite-sex. In olfactory preference tests, both males and fem ales spent significantly more time investigating the scent of their familia r cagemate than the scent of an unfamiliar conspecific. Giant kangaroo rats may be able to recognize familiar neighbors from olfactory cues, thus supp orting a hypothesis of neighbor recognition. Neighbor recognition may be an important mechanism of social interactions in this endangered species. Corresponding author: H. Murdock, 1468 18th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122 , USA. E-mail: yoyopg@itsa.ucsf.edu.