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Familiar Pheromone Odors

Animals and Eibl-Eibesfeldt (1958) suggested that this is a ‘symbolic take- over’ of the sexual partner and should be regarded as an extension of the male’s territorial marking thank...

Animals and Eibl-Eibesfeldt (1958) suggested that this is a ‘symbolic take- over’ of the sexual partner and should be regarded as an extension of the male’s territorial marking thanks to pheromone cologne.

Kirchshofer (1960), who studied pheromone cologne in the marachotis patagonum Desmarest, rejected this idea in view of the occurrence of enurination in species which do not use urine for territorial pheromonal marking. The operation of individual distance in the mara is, however, obvious from her reference to aggressive competition for access to feeding places and to the existence of a social hierarchic order.

Hence it is conceivable that even in this species communication about the presence and the intentions of an individual are necessary. If the distinction between territory and personal space is kept in mind the two views expressed above by the different workers are not contradictory to pheromone usage.

Confidence-giving effect of the odor of an individual’s own pheromone usage

The condence-giving effect of an individual’s own pheromone territory is not an entirely new idea. In the past the thought has often been expressed that the individual’s terriitory, familiar space, isolates it from harmful pheromones and effects its total behavior. Recently the importance of home environment on the reproductive behavior of rabbits has been discussed at length and special emphasis has been placed on the role of odor in shaping it (Mykytowycz 1973). It has been stressed that the behavior of rabbits and many other species is such that they permeate the environment in which they live with their own odor both passively and deliberately. This applies just as much to man although in his case many of the odors used are not necessarily his own natural ones and pheromones according to

Within the space in which its own or familiar odors prevail an animal acquires a physiological state which allows it to complete various biologically important functions and notably to participate in various stages or reproduction. The confidence giving effect of an animal’s own and familiar odor has been demonstrated experimentally with rabbits. Rabbits were introduced in pairs into a neutral space and simultaneously the fecal pellets, or chin gland secretion, of one of them were also placed in the area. In a new neutral environment, but in the presence of its own or familiar odor, one individual dominates another. It moves condently, attacks first and usually emerges as the winner. When the circumstances are reversed the outcome of the confrontation is also reversed with the original loser human pheromones did not have an equally strong effect and the inguinal gland secretion had no effect at all on such confrontations. This indicates once more the behavioral specialization of different odors in the same individual pheromones.

Observations mainly on the behavior of the wild rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus, are used to show that animals possess different spatial pheromone requirements which assure the smooth functioning of social relationships. These include group and individual home ranges and territories; feeding, watering and food storage areas; restingArticle Submission, wallowing and sleeping sites; paths and special centers for the exchange of information — urinating posts and dung-hills; spaces reserved for young individuals and individual zones.

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Alexander P is a blogger that studies pheromones.

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