How Chemical Signals Integrate Asian Elephant Society: The Known and the Unknown

The importance of chemical senses to elephants was recognized in anecdotal observations by ancient humans. Modern scientific tools, such as molecular biological techniques, highly sensitive gas chromatographic/mass spectrometric instrumentation, and statistically valid ethological methods, have allowed the study of real events of chemical communication between elephants. Such communication encompasses long- and short-range navigation, relationship recognition, […]

Urinary cortisol responses to unusual events in captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

This study investigated the urinary cortisol stress response to one known stressor (anaesthesia) and three unusual events hypothesized to result in increases in cortisol (confinement to one half of an enclosure for several days due to a hurricane, an enrichment exercise, and a change in group composition) in young chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Although a cortisol […]

Retinal Spectral Sensitivity, Fur Coloration, and Urine Reflectance in the Genus Octodon (Rodentia): Implications for Visual Ecology

Purpose: To determine the eye’s spectral sensitivity in three species of the genus Octodon (order Rodentia; infraorder Caviomorpha), O. degus, O. bridgesi, and O. lunatus, as well as the spectral properties of the animals’ fur and urine and of objects in their habitat. The genus is endemic in Chile and contains species with different habitats […]

A safer method for studying hormone metabolism in an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus): accelerator mass spectrometry

Abstract Noninvasive hormone assays provide a way to determine an animal’s health or reproductive status without the need for physical or chemical restraint, both of which create unnecessary stress for the animal, and can potentially alter the hormones being measured. Because hormone metabolism is highly species-specific, each assay must be validated for use in the […]

Assessment of testicular endocrine function in captive African elephants by measurement of urinary and fecal androgens

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.10034.abs Androgen measurements in urine and/or feces represent a potentially important tool for monitoring testicular endocrine function in the African elephant. To assess the feasibility of this approach, the aims of the present study were to: 1) examine the presence and relative abundance of immunoreactive testosterone (iT) and its 5α-reduced 17-oxometabolite epiandrosterone (iEA) in […]

Assessment of ovarian function in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) by measurement of 5α-reduced progesterone metabolites in serum and urine

Abstract 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2361(1997)16:33.3.CO;2-6 We have previously shown that 5α-pregnane-3,20-dione (5αDHP), and 5α-pregnane-3-ol-20-one (5α-P-3-OH) are the major luteal and circulating progestins in the African elephant. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to determine (1) circulating levels and patterns of secretion of 5α-DHP in relation to progesterone (P4) throughout the ovarian cycle, (2) the presence and […]

Serum and urinary levels of reproductive hormones associated with the estrous cycle in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430110207.abs Concentrations of estradiol-17β (E2), progesterone (Po), and luteinizing hormone (LH) in serum and estrone glucuronide (E1G) and pregnanediol glucuronide (PdG) in urine were determined by direct radioimmunoassay in five yearling and three adult female white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) from 14 October to 20 December 1985. Elevated levels of LH were recorded before the […]

Discrimination between conspecific odour samples in the horse (Equus caballus)

Behavioural observations suggest that smell is important in social discriminations between horses but balanced studies of this capacity are lacking. We used a habituation–discrimination procedure to investigate the ability of horses to distinguish between pairs of odour samples from different individuals. In Study 1, separate tests were conducted for urine, faeces or fleece fabric previously […]

A longitudinal evaluation of urinary cortisol in kennelled dogs, Canis familiaris

Urinary cortisol levels (based on cortisol : creatinine ratios) were evaluated in a randomly selected sample of shelter dogs kennelled over a 31-day period. Urine was collected on days 2, 5, 10, 17, 24 and 31 (with day 1 referring to the day of admittance to the shelter). Cortisol levels peaked on day 17 and […]

Feeling Vulnerable? Indirect Risk Cues Differently Influence How Two Marsupials Respond to Novel Dingo Urine

In Tasmania, introduced predators are becoming more common. How Tasmanian prey respond to novel predator cues is of particular interest for their survival and management. Prey response to predator scents may depend on whether predator and prey share an evolutionary history and may be influenced by indirect risk cues such as perceived shelter or safety […]