Field Studies of Chemical Signalling: Direct Observations of Dwarf Hamsters (Phodopus) in Soviet Asia
Chemical signals are vital sources of information in the lives of most, if not all, vertebrates. Considerable success has been achieved in experimentally determining the context, regulatory mechanisms and biochemical bases of vertebrate chemical signalling, particularly in rodent species. While the microtine and cricetine rodents are amenable to rearing under laboratory conditions, in the wild the majority are small, cryptic, nocturnal and virtually impossible to study by direct observation. What is missing is an integrated picture of the use of scent marking by free-ranging individuals, and the perception of those signals by other individuals at later times. This study reports the results of a direct, observational, field study of scent marking behavior in wild, free-ranging population of a small, nocturnal rodent — the Djungarian hamster, Phodopus campbelli.
KeywordsScent Mark Cheek Pouch Male Dwarf Djungarian Hamster Conspecific Odor
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