Maternal-Neonatal Pheromone/Interomone Added to Cat Litter Improves Litter Box Use and Reduces Aggression in Pair-Housed Cats

Introducing a new cat into a household with one or more resident cats can be a significant source of stress for the cats involved. These studies sought to determine if rabbit maternal-neonatal pheromone (2-methyl-2-butenal [2M2B]) in litter impacted cat social behaviors and litter box use. Study 1 determined that cats preferred to eliminate in litter […]

Comparative endocrine investigations in three bear species based on urinary steroid metabolites and volatiles

In order to improve breeding of in situ populations of bears, a comprehensive study of reproductive physiology in Brown (Ursus arctos), Spectacled (Tremarctos ornatus) and Giant panda bears (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) was performed. The objective was to perform non-invasive analyses of urinary and fecal steroid metabolites. In addition, we investigated the presence of reproduction-related urinary volatile […]

Why Snakes Have Forked Tongues

The serpent’s forked tongue has intrigued humankind for millennia, but its function has remained obscure. Theory, anatomy, neural circuitry, function, and behavior now support a hypothesis of the forked tongue as a chemosensory edge detector used to follow pheromone trails of prey and conspecifics. The ability to sample simultaneously two points along a chemical gradient […]

Feline urine spraying

Ten percent of all cats spray in adulthood. The sequence of urine spraying and its triggering stimuli are analyzed and its pharmacological treatment summarized. Clomipramine (Anafranil®) has been tested on 26 cats at the dosage of 5 mg once a day. Results are highly significant: clomipramine is responsible for a reduction of urine spraying (of […]

Olfactorysensitivity to the pheromone, androstenone, is sexuallydimorphic in the pig

Sexuallydimorphicpheromone pathways have been used successfully to study insect olfactory coding. As one of the few mammalian species with an identified sex pheromone, the domestic pig (Sus scrofa) may be an ideal vertebrate species in which to examine sex differences in olfactory processing of a specific stimulus. In this experiment, androstenone and control odor detection […]

Reducing post-mixing aggression and skin lesions in weaned pigs by application of a synthetic maternal pheromone

In commercial pig production, piglets are often mixed after weaning which can result in severe aggression and lead to body damage, disruption of feeding behaviour and reduced growth. This experiment investigated whether application of a synthetic maternal pheromone to groups of weaned pigs in commercial housing would affect the level of aggression and skin lesions […]

Integrative studies of amphibians- from molecules to mating

Studies of reproductive behavior in amphibians have been especially successful in synthesizing data produced from molecular and physiological research with evolutionary parameters, such as measures of reproductive success. In particular, two relatively new areas of amphibian research are highly amenable to synthetic studies. One area is the nature of chemical communication by pheromone delivery in […]

Exposure to the steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone modulates agonistic interactions in male Homarus americanus

In this study we present evidence that 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) affects agonistic behavior in male American lobsters and that male and female animals differ in their response to the hormone. Thirty-minute staged fights were conducted between large males exposed either to artificial seawater (ASW) or 20E and small, anosmic opponents. The nephropores of both combatants were […]

Rubbings deposited by cats elicit defensive behavior in rats

Laboratory rats display pronounced defensive behaviors when confronted with a range of cat-derived stimuli, including collars worn by a cat, cloths rubbed on a cat, and cat fur. One possible explanation of this phenomenon (the “kairomone hypothesis”) is that rats derive a survival advantage by eavesdropping on signals used by cats to communicate with each […]

New communal roosting tradition established through experimental translocation in a Neotropical harvestman

‘Tradition’ has been invoked to explain instances in which animals aggregate repeatedly in the same locations for no apparent reason, but alternative explanations, such as cryptic habitat selection, are difficult to rule out. Distinguishing among these hypotheses requires field experiments. We studied a species of harvestman (Prionostemma sp.) that forages solitarily at night and forms […]