Letter | Published:

Diet influences attractiveness of urine in guinea pigs

Naturevolume 263pages587588 (1976) | Download Citation



INTRASPECIES chemical communication with urine-borne substances is widespread in mammals. Numerous reports have indicated that the nature of the messages transmitted in urine depends on such factors as the hormonal state, the age, the individual identity and the level of stress of the sender1,2.I report here that information transmitted in urinary signals also depends on the diet of the sender. These findings have important implications for the study of animal chemical communication systems3.

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    Birch, M. C. (ed.), Pheromones (North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1974).

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    Beauchamp, G. K., Doty, R. L., Moulton, D. G., and Mugford, R. A., in Olfaction Reproductive Productive Processes and Behavior (edit. by Doty, R. L.), (Academic, New York, in the press).

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    Hendry, L. B., Wichmann, J. K., Hindenlang, D. M., Mumma, R. O., and Anderson, M. E., Science, 188, 59–62 (1975).

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    Rood, J. P., Anim. Behav. Monog., 5, 1–83 (1972).

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    Kunkel, P., and Kunkel, I., Z. Tierpsychol., 21, 602–641 (1964).

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    Beauchamp, G. K., Physiol. Behav., 10, 589–594 (1973).

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    Berüter, J., Beauchamp, G. K., and Muetterties, E. L., Biochem. biophys. Res. Commun., 53, 264–271 (1973).

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  1. Monell Chemical Senses Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104



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