Responses to olfactory stimuli in spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta): I. Investigation of environmental odors and the function of rolling.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Olfaction is crucial to spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), yet there are no controlled studies of their reactions to odors. In Experiment 1, the authors examined responses of captive hyenas to various environmental (prey, nonprey animal, and plant) odors. Subjects approached and sniffed all odors equally but preferentially licked prey odors, scent marked next to odors, and rolled in animal-based odors. In Experiment 2, the authors examined the function of rolling by applying odors to the pelts of captive hyenas. When hyenas wore carrion, they gained positive social attention (increased investigation and allogrooming) from pen mates, but when they wore camphor, the normal social greeting ceremony was curtailed. Thus, olfactory stimuli elicit specific responses, influence where behavior is directed, and can be used to affect social interaction.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Drea, CM; Vignieri, SN; Cunningham, SB; Glickman, SE

Published Date

  • December 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 116 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 331 - 341

PubMed ID

  • 12539928

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-2087

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0735-7036

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0735-7036.116.4.331


  • eng