Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 1505–1516 | Cite as

Why are predator urines aversive to prey?

  • Dale L. Nolte
  • J. Russell Mason
  • Gisela Epple
  • Eugeny Aronov
  • Dan L. Campbell


Predator odors often repel prey species. In the present experiments, we investigated whether changes in the diet of a predator, the coyote (Canis latrans) would affect the repellency of its urine. Furthermore, because predator odors have a high sulfur content, reflecting large amounts of meat in the diet, we investigated the contribution of sulfurous odors to repellency. Our results were consistent with the hypothesis that diet composition and sulfurous metabolites of meat digestion are important for the repellency of predator odors to potential prey.

Key Words

Aplodontia rufa avoidance Canis latrans Cavia porcellus coyote guinea pig mouse mountain beaver Mus musculus predator odors Peromyscus maniculatus urine 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dale L. Nolte
    • 1
    • 3
  • J. Russell Mason
    • 2
    • 3
  • Gisela Epple
    • 3
  • Eugeny Aronov
    • 3
  • Dan L. Campbell
    • 1
  1. 1.United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Animal Damage ControlDenver Wildlife Research CenterOlympia
  2. 2.United States Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Animal Damage ControlDenver Wildlife Research Center c/o Monell Chemical Senses CenterPhiladelphia
  3. 3.Monell Chemical Senses CenterPhiladelphia

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