Navigation Links
Can gulls smell out a good partner?
Date:7/6/2011

Male and female kittiwakes smell different from each other, according to research by Sarah Leclaire from the Centre national de la recherche scientifique at the Universit Paul Sabatier in France and her team. Their work also suggests that the birds' body odors might signal the genetic makeup of individual birds, and could be used in mate choice to assess the genetic compatibility of potential partners. The study is published in the July issue of Springer's journal Naturwissenschaften The Science of Nature.

Birds protect their feathers by preening them with the secretions of the preen gland. These secretions also carry odors. Scents in preen secretions tend to vary widely depending on the species, season and/or sex of the bird.

Leclaire and colleagues investigated the body odor in preen gland secretions and preen down feathers in a population of black-legged kittiwakes nesting in the Gulf of Alaska. Kittiwakes are a seabird species in the gull family. They collected samples of preen oil and preen down feathers from 21 females and 20 males, to test whether the birds' body odor carried individual and/or sexual signatures likely to reliably signal individual genetic makeup. These seabirds choose to mate with genetically dissimilar partners, but the cues used to assess genetic characteristics are unknown.

They found a total of 68 odor compounds, across both oil and feather samples. They also identified a difference in the amount of odor compounds between males and females, suggesting that scent may be one of the multiple cues used by birds to discriminate between sexes. The authors also detected an individual signature in preen secretions and preen down feathers; in other words they found evidence of individual-specific secretions.

Leclaire and colleagues conclude: "Our study suggests the existence of two odor signatures in kittiwakes: a sex and an individual signature. These results point to body odor as a signal associated with individual recognition and mate choice. Kittiwakes may be using body odor to assess the genetic compatibility of potential mates."


'/>"/>

Contact: Joan Robinson
joan.robinson@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study finds life-saving trend among seagulls
2. Deprived of a sense of smell, worms live longer
3. Bumblebees learn the sweet smell of foraging success
4. Rice University psychologist finds womens brains recognize, encode smell of male sexual sweat
5. New findings in taste and smell
6. Penn State entomologists seek fungus to blunt mosquitoes sense of smell
7. Stop and smell the flowers -- the scent really can soothe stress
8. How the 100th protein structure solved at Diamond impacts our understanding of how insects smell
9. Monell Center joins with CAS to host Beijing meeting on taste and smell research
10. Smelling the scenery in stereo
11. Could smell play a role in the origin of new bird species?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/29/2016)... , Nov. 29, 2016   Neurotechnology ... and object recognition technologies, today released FingerCell ... fingerprint recognition solutions that run on low-power, ... template using less than 128KB of memory, ... devices that have limited on-board resources, such ...
(Date:11/22/2016)... According to the new market research report "Biometric System Market by ... Component (Hardware and Software), Function (Contact and Non-contact), Application, and Region - ... grow from USD 10.74 Billion in 2015 to reach USD 32.73 Billion ... Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... Market Watch: Primarily supported by ownership types; Private ... market is to witness a value of US$37.1 billion by ... Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.75% is foreseen from ... North America is not way behind ... at 9.56% respectively. Report Focus: The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... CLEVELAND , Nov. 30, 2016  GenomOncology today announced ... Vice President of Medical Affairs.  Dr. Coleman ... enhancing the company,s proprietary knowledge-enabled platform. The GenomOncology software suite ... of genetic sequencing data and clinical decision support, from quality ... , ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... 2016  The Allen Institute for Cell Science ... publicly available collection of gene edited, fluorescently tagged ... cellular structures with unprecedented clarity. Distributed through the ... are a crucial first step toward visualizing the ... makes human cells healthy and what goes wrong ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... 2016   Merck , ein führendes ... einer Reihe von Vereinbarungen mit Evotec AG ... Screeningleistungen für Mercks Palette genetischer Reagenzien wie ... diese Bibliotheken in Kombination mit Evotecs Expertise ... zur Ermittlung und Erforschung neuer Arzneimitteltargets.    ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... Energetiq Technology, a world leader ... generation, ultra-bright, Laser-Driven Light Source, the EQ-77, at the MRS Fall Exhibit 2016. ... offers higher radiance and irradiance from a truly broadband white light source. The ...
Breaking Biology Technology: