The Role of Pheromones in Animals Essay

The Role of Pheromones in Animals Essay

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When I was little, I would be working around the barn and I would see a bull go up to a cow that is urinating and stick his nose right in the urine. I would then think ‘what the heck are you doing, you know that’s not water, right?’. I could never figure out why the bull would do that. Well, now I do- he was smelling her pheromones. “Pheromones are air-borne chemical signals that are released during urination or in feces of animals (Rekwot).” Pheromones are secreted from cutaneous glands; from there they are then perceived by the olfactory system where they stimulate a behavioral or an endocrine response. In response to the signals being released, the reaction that happens in the animal’s body involves either the reaction of a specific behavior or a change in the endocrine or reproductive system. There are two types of pheromones- the Signaling and the Priming pheromones (Rekwot).
Signaling pheromones cause an immediate behavior response, invoking a stimulus or the transfer of information between animals. The area that signaling pheromones affects is the olfactory cue. Olfactory cues convey specific information and this result in specific and immediate behavioral response in the male. The Olfactory cue may also be produced in the urine or vaginal secretions of females (Rekwot). Males investigate the anogenital regions of females, this includes sniffing, licking, and nuzzling of that area, this will induce urination by the female. The male will then put his muzzle and mouth directly in the urine; this is related to the vomeronasal organ (VNO). The VNO neurons then respond to pheromones.It is thought that another function of the VNO is to stimulate and maintain sexual activity through the olfactory stimuli (Stowers 699-7032).

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...ows respond to pheromone stimulus from bulls in a dose-dependent manner.
“Cows that did not perceive the minimum daily dose or threshold of pheromone stimulation and relaxation cycles would not receive the appropriate biostimulatory signal and would not resume OA. (Taurck 13-18)
Many mammals use chemo signals to synchronize reproduction by altering the physiology and behavior. Once in reproductive ailment, odors produced and deposited by both males and females are used to find and select an individual for mating. The production, spreading and suitable responses to these cues are modulated by organizational and activational effects of gonadal sex steroids. Thereby intrinsically linking chemical communication to the broader reproductive context. Pheromones are becoming a very popular subject; however there is much lacking in the research and informational part of it.

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