Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract In 14 series, each of 100 tests, involving 350 individual animals it has been shown that odors derived from the anal, inguinal and chin glands and urine strengthen to different degrees the confidence of European wild rabbits,Oryctolagus cuniculus. In the tests, two rabbits were put together on otherwise neutral ground previously treated with the odor from one of the contestants. The confidence of the rabbits was determined from an assessment of the record of the time to first physical contact, the frequencies of approaches and aggression, the number of attempts to escape, and also by making a subjective assessment of their general deportment. The results confirm earlier conclusions on the territorial functions of the anal and chin glands, the role of inguinal glands in individual identification, and the behavioral role of urine. On otherwise neutral ground the rabbits' own chin secretions were found to be the most effective in stimulating the confidence of males and that of their female partners. The odor of the anal gland secretions of males stimulated a similar but slightly weaker effect. The anal gland secretions of females influenced their own confidence but not that of males. Urine seemed to play a more important role in affecting the confidence of females than of males. Inguinal gland secretions had least effect. Odor from this source generally did not influence the confidence of the experimental animals; secretion from the inguinal glands of males had a slight effect on the behavior of their female partners.
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