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Marking Behaviour and Olfactory Recognition in Genets (Genetta Genetta L., Carnivora-Viverridae)

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The functions of scent marking in individual, sex and physiological state recognition were studied in genets (G. genetta L.). Both males and females sniffed statistically more the scent marks (urine, secretion of the perineal glands, substances emitted by flank rubbing) of unknown conspecifics of the opposite sex than those of known conspecifics of the opposite sex. They also spent significantly more time in sniffing scent marks of strange conspecifics of the same sex than their own scent marks. The same results were found using fecal pellets. Concerning sex recognition, no significant differences in sniffing time were observed. The last experiment showed that males could recognize the physiological state of females by means of scent marks.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire de Psychophysiologie, l'Université de Strasbourg, France


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