Responses to olfactory stimuli in spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta): I. Investigation of environmental odors and the function of rolling.
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.
Drea, CM; Vignieri, SN; Cunningham, SB; Glickman, SE
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