Complexity and Relative Specificity in a Mammalian Pheromone


BLACKTAILED deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) of the Pacific Coast of North America sniff and lick each other's scent-carrying tarsal organ in various social situations1,2. Tarsal scent, a mixture of odoriferous compounds2, is important in individual recognition. The tarsal organ consists of a scent gland and a hair tuft carrying the scent in its centre.

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  1. 1

    Müller-Schwarze, D., Amer. Zool., 7, 430 (1967).

  2. 2

    Brownlee, R. G., Silverstein, R. M., Müller-Schwarze, D., and Singer, A. G., Nature, 221, 284 (1969).

  3. 3

    Van Der Zijden, A. S. M., De Jong, K., Sloot, D., Clifford, J., and Taylor, R. J., Rev. Franc. Corps Gras, 13 (12), 731 (1966).

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MÜLLER-SCHWARZE, D. Complexity and Relative Specificity in a Mammalian Pheromone. Nature 223, 525–526 (1969).

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