ancom_lec13 C - Oct 11, 2010 PSY 3364 Animal Communication...

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1 PSY 3364 Animal Communication Oct 11, 2010 Chemical communication Hormones - chemicals that operate internally to facilitate communication between the brain and organs involved in growth, digestion, reproduction Chemical communication Pheromones - chemicals that operate externally to facilitate communication with other members of the same animal species (conspecifics). Chemical communication Allomones - chemicals that are transmitted to the members of other species, such as predators and prey (skunks) Functions of pheromones (1) to defend a territory from conspecifics – dogs use urine to mark territorial boundaries and track these markers carefully. (2) to promote aggregation – examples: social insects like termites and ants use various messages to coordinate complex activities of the colony (3) to alert others to food sources – ants lay scent trails leading to a food source that helps others find the food Functions of pheromones (4) to alert others of danger – alarm pheromones are used to signal the presence of danger (fire ants) – injured minnows emit a chemical from skin cells that causes others to disperse (5) sexual attraction – widely used in mammalian courtship, sexual attraction and copulatory behavior. In many species of mammals, female animals emit a sexual attractant pheromone to indicate mating readiness – chemical signals can trigger hormonal changes that stimulate ovulation and/or sexual maturation
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2 Functions of pheromones (6) coordination of parent-young interactions (in vertebrate animals) (7) there may even be pheromones that signal status in a dominance hierarchy within a group Pheromones in insects • Male silkworm moths travel up to 30 miles in response to the female sex attractant, following the pheromone trail in the air. Pheromones Pheromones are volatile molecules which, when released into the air, form an elongated plume called an active space (Wilson, 1970). Pheromones • The shape and the size of the active space varies depends on the molecular weight of the compound and the wind velocity (Robinson,1994). Modes of transmission • Current flow (in air or water) • Diffusion (movement along a concentration gradient ) • Movement of receiver toward source Sex attractant pheromones in moths • When a male moth detects pheromone molecules emitted by the female, he begins to search for the point source .
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This note was uploaded on 11/11/2010 for the course PSY PSY 3364 A taught by Professor Dr.peterassmann during the Spring '10 term at University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson.

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ancom_lec13 C - Oct 11, 2010 PSY 3364 Animal Communication...

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