Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford


  • Yvan I. RussellEmail author
Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1884-2



Reputation is based on two things: behavior plus an audience. In its most basic definition, “reputation” is an information source (Russell 2016). Any episode of animal behavior is a potential signal to another animal (Danchin et al. 2004), even if that signal was not a deliberate intention to communicate.

Consider the example of territorial urine marking in mice. When a mouse urinates in your house, that urine deposit is a meaningful signal for other mice (Hurst 2005). In many animals, scent marks have an important role in social communication, allowing “recognition of group members and kin, the advertisement of territory ownership and social dominance, assessment of the quality of competitors and potential mates, and the advertisement and control of reproductive status” (Hurst 2005, p. 220). After a mouse deposits urine, the scent stays behind in the absence of the signaler, detectable by other mice passing near....

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Middlesex UniversityLondonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Zanna Clay
    • 1
  1. 1.Durham UniversityDurhamUK