Chemical and Behavioral Complexity in Mammalian Chemical Communication Systems: Guinea Pigs (Cavia Porcellus), Marmosets (Saguinus Fuscicollis) and Humans (Homo Sapiens)

  • George Preti
  • Amos B. SmithIII
  • Gary K. Beauchamp


The odorous secretions produced by mammals have long interested man. In some ancient civilizations, the scents produced by sacred or powerful animals were worn by men in an effort to capture some of its power (Kingston, 1965). In more recent times, organic chemists and perfumers have sought to identify and employ the volatile constituents of mammalian secretions and excretions in perfumes and colognes while animal behaviorists and reproductive biologists have explored the role such constituents play in olfactory chemical communication. With the establishment that volatiles in excreted body fluids play a significant role in mammalian communication organic chemists have become interested in the isolation and identification of these compounds. Such studies require an interdisciplinary approach.


Maleic Anhydride Scent Mark Vaginal Secretion Dominant Female Isovaleric Acid 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Preti
    • 1
    • 2
  • Amos B. SmithIII
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gary K. Beauchamp
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Monell Chemical Senses CenterPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Chemistry and Otorhinolaryngology and Human CommunicationUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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