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Latrine utilization and feces recognition in the raccoon dog,Nyctereutes procyonoides


In the raccoon dog,Nyctereutes procyonoides, utilization of latrines (defecation and urination sites), and olfactory recognition and memorization of latrine feces were studied in captivity. All individuals living within a cage utilized 1 communal latrine. The continuous and communal utilization of the latrine was based on a behavioural trait to deposit their excrement on the dung pile which was already present. They were attracted not only by their own dung pile but also by that of strange conspecifics. However, raccoon dogs could olfactorily recognize and memorize both their own feces and that of strange conspecifics individually. These results indicate that, in the raccoon dog, latrines serve as a place of information exchange about conspecific individuals, and olfactory memorization of the feces adjusts their social behaviour when they acutually encounter each other.

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Yamamoto, I. Latrine utilization and feces recognition in the raccoon dog,Nyctereutes procyonoides . J. Ethol. 2, 47–54 (1984).

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  • Cage
  • Social Behaviour
  • Information Exchange
  • Animal Ecology
  • Behavioural Trait