Olfactory Communication in Mammals

  title={Olfactory Communication in Mammals},
  author={John Frederick Eisenberg and Devra G. Kleiman},
  journal={Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics},
In the broad perspective chemical communication has been the subject of several recent reviews (Wilson 138; Johnston, Moulton & Turk 59; Wilson 137). The present review will be more restrictive; we will deal with one as­ pect of chemical communication in one class of vertebrates, i.e., olfaction in the Mammalia. For the purposes of this review, olfactory communication is defined as the process whereby a chemical signal is generated by a presumptive sender and transmitted (generally through the… 

Are mammal olfactory signals hiding right under our noses?

  • P. Apps
  • Chemistry
  • 2013
Research on mammal semiochemicals needs to accommodate the possibility that simple qualitative differences are no less likely than complex quantitative differences to encode chemical signals, and the ways in which multivariate statistics are commonly used to search for active mixtures leads to single messenger compounds and signals that are sent by the presence and absence of compounds being overlooked.

Pheromonal Sex Attractants in the Norway Rat

Pheromones are known to influence a variety of social interactions, e.g., aggregation, mating, parent-young interactions, and the agonistic behavior associated with territoriality and dominance hierarchies.

Functional Adaptations in Chemosensory Systems

The chemical sense is perhaps the most primitive of the sensory modalities utilized by organisms for obtaining information from their environment and has evolved to play prominent roles in coordinating both intra- and interspecific interactions as well as monitoring certain abiotic environmental parameters.

Relationships between scent marking by male mice and the pheromone-induced secretion of the gonadotropic and ovarian hormones that accompany puberty in female mice.

Much of the recent interest in mammalian pheromones stems from the discovery in the 1950’s of a series of dramatic primer effects in female mice, but work by chemists and neuro-physiologists is conspicuously absent.

Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 3

One: Reptiles, Strike-Induced Chemosensory Searching by Rattlesnakes: The Role of Envenomation-Related Chemical Cues in the Post-Strike Environment, and two: Vomeronasal Organ.

Chemical signals in vertebrates 10

Thirty years on the odor trail: From the first to the tenth international symposium on chemical signals in vertebrates; evidence for threat sensitivity, and the level of predation risk.

To whom it may concern: the transmission and function of chemical signals in Lemur catta

  • P. Kappeler
  • Psychology
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 1998
Variation in the response of receivers across reproductive seasons as a function of senders' sex indicated that female scents may function in mate attraction and competition among females, whereas male scents might be primarily used in intrasexual competition.

Chemical communication for reproduction in the Tasmanian short-beaked echidna, Tachyglossus aculeatussetosus

The results suggest that females do not ‘actively’ signal to males while hibernating, but intense male-male competition for access to females has probably driven earlier male readiness to breed, even before females might otherwise emerge from hibernation and signal toMale echidnas.



Olfaction in mammals.

This paper centers on selected—and particularly, little recognized— problems in mammalian olfaction: (1) With certain exceptions the spacing of the external nares in most mammals does not favor

Olfactory Discrimination As an Isolating Mechanism Between Peromyscus maniculatus and Peromyscus polionotus

It is suggested that, along with other sensory stimuli, olfactory cues may be important in pair formation and timing of sexual activity of the pairs, and the lower level of sexual isolation in P. polionotus leucocephalus may be a result of its geographical isolation.

Mammalian Scent Marking

Frequent, vigorous marking occurs at times when there is reason to infer that the animal is motivated to aggression, and many species mark with more than one source of scent in response to one stimulus or set of stimuli.

Pheromones in the Communication of Sexual Status in Primates

Anosmic male rhesus monkeys showed no interest in females receiving oestrogen until their olfaction was restored, when they pressed a lever 250 times to gain access to the females. These findings


It is concluded that urine is the immediate source of the pheromones produced by male mice which cause the failure of ovo-implantation in newly mated females.

Complexity and Relative Specificity in a Mammalian Pheromone

BlackTAILED deer of the Pacific Coast of North America sniff and lick each other's scent-carrying tarsal organ in various social situations, important in individual recognition.

Responses of male rats to sex odors.

  • J. Stern
  • Psychology, Biology
    Physiology & behavior
  • 1970

Inhibition of Reproductive Maturation and Function in Laboratory Populations of Prairie Deermice: A Test of Pheromone Influence

Analysis of the reproductive performances of the mice and the weights of their ovaries, uteri, and testes gave no indication of inhibition of reproductive development or function of animals maintained on bedding soiled by asymptotic populations, but indicated that both reproductive function and maturation were stimulated in these animals compared to the other two treatments.