Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Genetic Analysis of Tail Rattling in the Mouse

Abstract

TAIL rattling is a prominent feature of aggressive encounters between mice and is thought to be a threat behaviour, although conclusive evidence of this is lacking1. A factor analysis of aggressive behaviours elicited in a single subject using foot-shock in conjunction with a bottle brush target indicated that tail rattling had a high loading on the “aggressive factor” and negligible loading on the other factors2. On the other hand, a rather comprehensive study of fourteen inbred strains by Southwick and Clark3 revealed no consistent interstrain relationship between fighting and tail rattling. These displays are usually regarded by ethologists as having complex, rather than unitary, motivational determinants4. If this is correct, a linear relationship with a single variable, such as attack behaviour, would be unlikely to prove robust. An additional complication arises when genetic differences between subjects are important. The degree of manifestation or expressivity of the display, in relation to the motivational states which underlie it, may be expected to exhibit genetic variation.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Scott, J. P., Amer. Zool., 6, 683 (1966).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Mettälä, R., Inst. Psychol. Univ. Turku, 15, 1 (1965).

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Southwick, C. H., and Clark, L. H., Comm. Behav. Biol., 1, 49 (1968).

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Morris, D., Behaviour, 9, 75 (1955).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Ulrich, R., Amer. Zool., 6, 643 (1966).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Roberts, R. C., Canad. J. Genet. Cytol., 9, 419 (1967).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

JOHN, R. Genetic Analysis of Tail Rattling in the Mouse. Nature 241, 549–551 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1038/241549a0

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing