We expected that the chemical composition from anal gland secretions would differ between sexes. We discovered this kind of sex distinction, but just in adult individuals; outcome additionally present in mandrills ( Setchell et al., 2010). We unearthed that the anal gland secretions of adult female Alpine marmots had been reasonably abundant with cholestanol compared to adult male people, that has been likewise present in anogenital gland secretions of female giant pandas ( Yuan et al., 2004). The anal gland secretions of adult male Alpine marmots had been alternatively fairly abundant with pentadecanal, and also this ingredient has also been reported to be reasonably more abundant in male than in feminine adult giant pandas ( Yuan et al., 2004).
Our outcomes indicate that the chemical composition of anal gland fragrance might be properly used for sex recognition when you look at the Alpine marmot.
The capability of fragrance secretions to tell on intercourse is well documented both in eutherian animals (e.g. hyena, Crocuta crocuta: Drea et al., 2002; ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta: http://nakedcams.org/trans/young/ Hayes et al., 2004; Scordato et al., 2007; owl monkeys: MacDonald et al., 2008; Eurasian otters, Lutra lutra: Kean et al., 2011; brown bears, Ursus arctos: Rosell et al., 2011; giant pandas: Yuan et al., 2004) and monotremes ( e.g. short-beaked echidna, Tachyglossus aculeatus: Harris et al., 2012, 2014). Classically, intercourse recognition from olfactory cues is recommended to relax and play a part in intimate interactions such as for example mate location ( Alberts, 1992), mate attraction ( Haymann, 2006) and mate option ( Johansson & Jones, 2007). Additionally, Alpine marmots aren’t intimately dimorphic in dimensions and color pattern; consequently, a chemical that is sex-specific might play a crucial role in intercourse recognition in this sexually monomorphic types. We can not discard these hypotheses, but our outcomes additionally offer the forecast that intercourse recognition from olfactory cues might enable intimately mature people to target same-sex rivals during competitive interactions. When you look at the Alpine marmot, intrasexual competition for principal status nevertheless does occur following the mating period, with principal individuals usually being challenged and evicted throughout the entire regarding the period that is active. Correctly, we discovered intercourse variations in anal gland secretions sampled following the mating season. Extra information becomes necessary, nevertheless, to determine whether sex recognition from olfactory cues leads to intrasexual competition within the Alpine marmot.
Social status impact
We expected that the chemical composition of anal gland secretions would differ between principal and subordinate people. This expectation had been validated when you look at the Alpine marmot, suggesting that the chemical composition of anal gland secretions might convey information about social status both in sexes into the Alpine marmot. This outcome had been in keeping with other studies in animals ( ag e.g. Hayes et al., 2002; Burgener et al., 2009; Setchell et al., 2010).
This social status signature in Alpine marmot anal gland secretions may be attributable, to some extent, to social status being confounded as we grow older inside our samples. Certainly, nearly all subordinate people had been two years old, whereas all principal people had been 3вЂ“12 years old. But, both principal (N = 5) and subordinate (N = 4) people had been discovered among 3-year-old individuals. Three-year-old principal people had chemical pages matching compared to that of older dominants, whereas 3-year-old subordinate individuals had chemical profiles that corresponded compared to that of 2-year-old subordinate people. Even though quantity of 3-year-old people ended up being tiny, these outcomes recommend that it’s not likely that the distinctions we present in chemical composition of anal gland secretions between principal and subordinate people had been due to an age impact alone.