The Role Of Scent Marking By Urination Throughout

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The Role of Scent Marking by Urination Throughout Different Species Introduction Chemical signals play a role in determining intraspecific and interspecific species interactions. Urinary scent involves complex information about individuals such as species, sex, identity, metabolic information, social dominance, territory, foraging behavior, reproductive status, age, and health. (Arakawa et al. 2008) Olfactory cues are most common in mammals because scent is so important in sending and receiving messages. Amphibians, fish, and reptiles also use scent marking but not nearly as much as mammals or as documented by research. Directing urine at an object is frequently an important standard for distinguishing scent marking from simple elimination. (Wirant et al. 2006) The most common behaviors associated with scent marking, by means of urination, appear to be mating/reproduction and territoriality. Although olfactory cues play a significant role in other behaviors such as foraging and other forms of social communication, reproductive and territorial scent marking are more easily observed and less complicated to determine as the reason why this phenomenon is happening. (Campos 2007) Territoriality Territorial animals mark in their home ranges as a territorial defense. Scent marks may reduce the chances of interactions between agonistic residents and intruders. (Schulte 1998) Both North American (Castor Canadensis) and European beavers (Castor fiber) build mud mounds and mark them with their castoreum, which is a urine-based secretion. Beaver homes are typically made up of a monogamous couple and their offspring. The males most often are the secretors of urine, and the beaver sites occupied by a pair with offspring often contain the largest number of scent mounds. (Schulte 1998) Mustelids, such as the river otter (Lutra canadensis), exhibit spacing strategies.

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