Advertisement

Scent Marking in Mice: Open Field Test

  • Dietland Müller-Schwarze
Chapter

Abstract

This exercise is the second of the two experiments dealing with communication via scent marks in mice. In this Open-field Test, we observe scent marking behavior of male mice in response to presence or absence of urine stimuli in their environment. (In fact, the “open field” arena is enclosed and covered.)

Where mice live undisturbed for some time, their urine marks accumulate and are spread over most surfaces. At topographical edges such as walls, pipes, or rafters, posts of concentrated urine pile up over time. Dominant adult males mark very frequently. This advertises their aggressive dominance over other resident and intruder males. Dominant males overmark other males’ urine marks, while marks by dominant males are merely investigated by others. Dominant male marks guide dominant and subordinate males to stay within their territory and to avoid areas marked by other dominant males (Hurst 1990a). Juveniles use urine marks to stay within their parental territory.

Dominant males mark differently from subordinate males: they cover an entire area, while subordinates urine-mark along the walls of their enclosure or cage, and in fewer and larger patches. These patterns can be visualized under ultraviolet light (Desjardins et al. 1973).

Keywords

Dominant Male Scent Mark Urine Mark Subordinate Male Male Urine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Desjardins C, Maruniak JA, Bronson FH (1973) Social rank in house mice: Differentiation revealed by ultraviolet visualization of urinary marking patterns. Science 182:939–941CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Humphries RE, Robertson DHL, Beynon RJ, Hurst JL (1999) Unraveling the chemical basis of competitive scent marking in house mice. Anim Behav 58:1177–1190CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Hurst JL (1990a) Urine marking in populations of wild house mice Mus domesticus Rutty. I. Communication between males. Anim Behav 40:209–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hurst JL (1990b) Urine marking in populations of wild house mice Mus domesticus Rutty. II. Communication between females. Anim Behav 40:223–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hurst JL, Robertson DHL, Tolladay U, Beynon RJ (1998) Proteins in urine scent marks of male house mice extend the longevity of olfactory signals. Anim Behav 55:1289–1297CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dietland Müller-Schwarze
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and ForestryState University of New York-SyracuseSyracuseUSA

Personalised recommendations