Responses to olfactory stimuli in spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta): II. Discrimination of conspecific scent.
Scent marking in spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) includes the deposition of anal sac secretions, or "paste," and presumably advertises territorial ownership. To test whether captive hyenas classify and discriminate individuals using odor cues in paste, the authors conducted behavioral discrimination bioassays and recorded hyena investigation of paste extracted from various conspecific donors. In Experiment 1, subjects directed most investigative behavior toward scents from unfamiliar hyenas and members of the opposite sex. In Experiment 2, male hyenas discriminated between concurrent presentations of paste from various unfamiliar females in similar reproductive states. Thus, pasted scent marks convey information about the sex, familiarity, and even identity of conspecifics. Aside from territory maintenance, scent marking may also communicate information about individual sexual status.
Drea, CM; Vignieri, SN; Kim, HS; Weldele, ML; Glickman, SE
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)