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Why brown bears have smelly feet

Most mammals rely upon scent for intraspecific communication. As most bear species have large home ranges and are non-territorial, scent deposit while walking could be an effective way to communicate with conspecifics. Here, the existence of pedal glands in brown bears and their role in chemical communication are investigated from a histological, biochemical and behavioural perspective. Eccrine glands were found in footpads, and prominent apocrine and sebaceous glands in the interdigital, metacarpal and metatarsal skin sections. Pedal scent contained 26 compounds including carboxylic acids, important constituents of mammalian secretions. Six of these compounds were exclusive for males. Finally, a specific marking gait like a "dance" recorded in the field is described, mostly performed by males. This study supports the existence of chemical communication through pedal marking in brown bears and suggests sex-coding potential of pedal scent.. información[at]ebd.csic.es: Sergiel et al (2017) Histological, chemical and behavioral evidence of pedal communication in brown bears. Sci Rep 7: 1052 doi:10.1038/s41598-017-01136-1


https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-01136-1
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Content with tag behavioural ecology .

Why brown bears have smelly feet

Most mammals rely upon scent for intraspecific communication. As most bear species have large home ranges and are non-territorial, scent deposit while walking could be an effective way to...

Pigmentation plasticity in newt larvae

In heterogeneous environments, the capacity for colour change can be a valuable adaptation enhancing crypsis against predators. Alternatively, organisms might achieve concealment by evolving...

Human behaviour can trigger large carnivore attacks in developed countries

Thousands of interactions occur between people and large carnivores with no human injuries or fatalities. However, the numbers tell that since the 1950s, six large carnivores have been involved in...

Demise and recovery of Egyptian vultures in light of changes in the population density of wild-rabbit

In this study, the consequences of the decay of wild rabbit populations have been modelled in the population size of Egyptian vultures. The decrease in this main food source led the vultures to...