Comparative morphology of the cloacal scent gland in snakes (Serpentes: Reptilia). (1/44)

The histology of the cloacal scent gland, or anal gland, was examined from a diverse group of 50 snakes. Extensive interspecific morphological variation was observed in the general structure of the gland and the glandular epithelium. Morphological variants were quantitatively scored from eight features: lobate nature of the gland; septa in the glandular epithelium; glandular epithelium having a rough or irregular outer surface; glandular epithelium having a rough or irregular inner surface; thickness of the glandular epithelium; PAS reactivity in the glandular epithelium; Periodic Acid-Schiff reactivity in the secretory product; and relative size of the cloacal scent gland. The distribution of the encoded morphological variation was compared to an established phylogeny for snakes and used as the basis for a cluster analysis. In both cases there was no apparent relationship between phylogeny and the morphological variation of the cloacal scent gland.  (+info)

Observation of marking-like behavior, marking behavior, and growth of the scent gland in young Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) of an inbred strain. (2/44)

A marking-like behavior (defined by authors), a marking behavior, and growth of the scent glands were observed in young Mongolian gerbils of an inbred strain. In males and females, a marking-like behavior, in which animals rub their abdominal scent glands on the floor, began to be seen at the age of 19 days and could be seen in almost all the gerbils at 22 days of age during the suckling period. The frequency of this behavior was highest at 60 days of age (males: 17.9/10 min, females: 15.4/10 min) and there was no sex difference. Marking behavior, in which animals rub their abdominal scent glands on small protruding objects, began to be seen at the age of 40 days in males and 50 days in females. The frequency of this behavior tended to increase until 90 days of age in males (13.7/10 min), but the levels were low (2.5-5.0/10 min) in females. The values in the male group therefore tended to be higher than that in the female group. Macroscopic scent gland pads were clearly observed at the age of 30 days in males, but not until 45 days of age in females. At the age of 45-90 days, the length of the scent gland pad in males and females was 2.1-2.8 and 1.6-1.7 cm, respectively and the width was 0.3-0.5 in males and 0.2-0.3 cm in females. During this period, the length and depth of the pads in males were significantly greater than those in females (p < 0.05). Histological examination of the structure of the scent glands after the age of 45 days showed that the development of clusters of acinar cells in females occurred much later than that in males, but the basic structure of these glands was similar in both sexes. These results suggest that the marking-like behavior was manifested although during the period when the scent glands had not yet developed, whereas true marking behavior first occurred when the glands were moderately well developed.  (+info)

Histo-physiology of the scent-marking glands of the penile pad, anal pouch, and the forefoot in the aardwolf (Proteles cristatus). (3/44)

The scentmarking glands of the anal pouch, penile pad, and the forefoot of the aardwolf (Proteles cristatus) were studied by histological, histochemical, immunohistochemical methods, and by electron microscopy. The morphological observations are correlated with eco-ethological aspects of this nocturnal animal. In all studied regions there was a superficial layer of holocrine sebaceous glands and a deeper layer of apocrine scent glands; these two types of glands apparently function in concert. Only in the forefoot were additional tubular glands, resembling eccrine sweat glands found, which may improve the frictional capacities of the paw, while apocrine and holocrine glands serve scent-marking functions of the forefoot. Penile pad and anal pouch are exclusively scent marking organs. The secretion modus of the apocrine glands is both via exocytosis and apocrine mechanism. Homogeneous apical, secretory granules, which contain glycoproteinaceous material, represent evidence for exocytosis. In the anal pouch, additional variably sized granules contain endogenous pigments which are probably responsible for the brownish coloration of the secretory product of the male animals. Variable heights of the glandular cells, frequent apical tall protrusions as well as pinched-off pieces of cytoplasm in the glandular tubules support the concept of an apocrine secretion in the scent glands. The immunohistochemical staining pattern of actin points to the involvement of actin filaments in the pinching-off process of the apical cell protrusion, which does not contain any cell organelles. The variable actin staining patterns suggest a dynamic process during which actin filaments form a ring or sheet at the basis of the pinching-off bleb. Proliferative and apoptotic phenomena show no preference for active and inactive glandular cells suggesting that replacement of cells occurs independently of the functional status of the glands.  (+info)

Marking behavior is innate and not learned in the Mongolian gerbil. (4/44)

We studied whether marking behavior in Mongolian gerbils would be innate or learned behavior. The marking behavior was defined as "animals rubbing their abdominal scent glands on small protruding objects". Between 21 and 90 days of age, Mongolian gerbils, which were kept under such conditions that they would be unable to learn this behavior, were observed at intervals of 5-15 days to find out if there were signs of the behavior or not. Six male and four female Mongolian gerbils were used for observing. Neonate Mongolian gerbils during the age of 3 to 28 days were fostered by ICR mother mice. Weaning Mongolian gerbils were then individually kept away from the others. Marking behavior was observed in 2 out of 6 males at 50 days of age and 2 of 4 females at 60 days and the mean frequency of the marking behavior for 10 min was 3.5 in the males and 5.0 in the females. These results suggest that marking behavior was innate and not learned behavior in Mongolian gerbils.  (+info)

Female marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus) can be identified from the chemical composition of their scent marks. (5/44)

The present study analyzed 42 organic solvent extracts of scent mark pools from five dominant female common marmosets by gas chromatography (GC) and combined GC and mass spectrometry. We determined whether there were qualitative or quantitative differences between the chemical composition of scent marks from individual females. Gas chromatography and mass spectral analysis detected the same 162 chemicals in 86% (36/42) of scent mark pools from five dominant females. This near identical chemical composition of scent marks suggested there were few, if any, qualitative differences between the chemical composition of scent marks from individual females. Instead, quantitative differences in scent may provide the key factor distinguishing individual females. Using the relative concentration of highly volatile chemicals detected by GC in scent marks, linear discriminant analysis classified scent mark pools to their correct donor approximately 91% of the time. Such highly reliable statistical matching of scent to donor suggested that each individual female common marmoset has a unique ratio of highly volatile chemicals in their scent marks which may permit individual identification of females from odors in their scent alone.  (+info)

Age-related changes on marking, marking-like behavior and the scent gland in adult Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus). (6/44)

Marking behavior, marking-like behavior [3], and changes of the scent glands were observed in aged Mongolian gerbils. In Experiment 1, changes in the marking and marking-like behavior with aging were evaluated in adult male and female Mongolian gerbils of an inbred strain aged 6 to 36 months. The frequency of marking behavior in males was significantly higher than females throughout the observation period except at 36 months of age. On the other hand, frequency of marking-like behavior in males, but not in females decreased with aging, significantly. In Experiment 2, changes of the scent gland in adult males and females aged 6 to 36 months were morphologically evaluated. Macroscopic examination revealed an increase in the size length and width of the glands of males aged 12 months and females aged 6 months. Histologically the glands of all the males and females aged 6 months developed moderately or well. Some of the 12-month-old males and females showed acinar atrophy of the glands, and all the females aged 18 months or more had highly atrophied scent glands. From these results, we concluded that there is no relationship between the changes of marking behavior and those of the scent glands in aged male Mongolian gerbils, and assume that marking behavior in aged animals does not have an important meaning as marking. In Experiment 3, marking and marking-like behavior in castrated adult Mongolian gerbils aged 16 weeks were observed. The result showed that marking behavior, not marking-like behavior was inhibited after castration. From these findings, we consider that generally marking behavior in Mongolian gerbils consists of androgen-dependent marking behavior and androgen-independent marking behavior (marking-like behavior).  (+info)

Putative chemosignals of the ferret (Mustela furo) associated with individual and gender recognition. (7/44)

Quantitative stir bar sorptive extraction methods, both in the aqueous and headspace modes, followed by thermal desorption gas chromatography-mass spectrometry were used to investigate individual variations in the volatile components of male and female ferret (Mustela furo) urine. The urinary profiles were further compared with volatile profiles of anal gland secretions of breeding male and female ferrets. Thirty volatile compounds were quantified in male and female urine. Among them, 2-methylquinoline was unique to male urine. Four ketones (4-heptanone, 2-heptanone, o-aminoacetophenone, and a dimethoxyacetophenone) and several nitrogen compounds (e.g., 2,5-dimethylpyrazine, quinoline, 4-methylquinazoline) and low levels of three unidentified nonsulfur compounds were significantly more abundant in males than in females. Quantitative comparison of 30 volatile urinary compounds showed several statistically significant differences between the sexes and individuals of the same sex. These findings suggest that ferrets may use urine marking for sex and individual recognitions. Ten of the 26 compounds identified in anal gland secretions from females and males were also found in urine. However, most of the major compounds (thietanes, dithiolanes, and indole) in anal glands were not present in urine. This suggests that urine may convey specific signals that differ from those of anal glands. Additionally, 10 volatiles (two aldehydes, five ketones, benzothiazole, 2-methylquinoline, and 4-methylquinazoline), not previously identified, were found in ferret anal gland secretions. Among the new compounds, o-aminoacetophenone was found only in males, while only traces of this compound were found in females. Similar results were previously obtained in anal glands of three other Mustela species. These findings provide new information about the constituents of urine and volatile components of anal gland secretions in ferrets.  (+info)

Putative chemical signals about sex, individuality, and genetic background in the preputial gland and urine of the house mouse (Mus musculus). (8/44)

To explore whether preputial gland secretions and/or urine from the house mouse (Mus musculus) can be used for coding information about sex, individuality, and/or the genetic background of strain [ICR/albino, Kunming (KM), and C57BL/6], we compared the volatile compositions of mouse preputial glands and urine using a combination of dichloromethane extraction and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Of the 40 identified compounds in preputial gland secretions, 31 were esters, 2 sesquiterpens, and 7 alcohols. We failed to find any compound unique to a specific sex, individual, or strain. However, many low molecular weight compounds between the sexes, most compounds among individuals, and several compounds among the 3 strains varied significantly in relative ratios. These quantitative differences in preputial gland volatiles (analog coding) are likely to convey information about sex, individual, and the genetic background of mouse strain. We identified 2 new main and male-elevated compounds, 1-hexadecanol (Z=3.676, P=0.000, N=19 in ICR; Z=3.576, P=0.000, N=18) and 1-hexadecanol acetate (Z=3.429, P=0.000, N=19 in ICR; Z=3.225, P=0.001, N=18), which were eluted in GC chromatogram after the 2 sesquiterpens. They might also be potential male pheromones, in addition to the well-known E-beta-farnesene and E,E-alpha-farnesene. Additionally, a few compounds including 1-hexadecanol also varied with strains and might also code for genetic information. Of the 9 identified volatile compounds in male urine, (s)-2-sec-butyl-4,5-dihydrothiazole and R,R-3,4-dehydro-exo-brevicomin are known urine-originated male pheromones from previous studies. We also detected 6-hydroxy-6-methyl-3-heptanone, a male urinary pheromonal compound, which had not been directly detected by GC-MS previously. Chemical analysis shows that the genetically more closely related ICR and KM strains had a higher similarity in the volatile compositions of preputial glands and urine than that between ICR or KM and C57BL/6. R,R-3,4-dehydro-exo-brevicomin, in particular, was sensitive to genetic shifts and differed in relative abundance among the 3 strains, whereas (s)-2-sec-butyl-4,5-dihydrothiazole differed between ICR or Km and C57BL/6. Hence, these 2 compounds might code for information about their genetic background.  (+info)