The Ontogeny of Pasting Behavior in Free-living Spotted Hyenas, Crocuta crocuta

  • Kevin R. Theis
  • Anna L. Heckla
  • Joseph R. Verge
  • Kay E. Holekamp


The function of scent marking varies not only between species, but also among different age/sex classes within the same species. We conducted a longitudinal study of 26 free-living spotted hyenas to describe the ontogeny of anal gland scent marking (‘pasting’) in this species. Males increased the proportional abundance of overmarking between cub and subadult periods, while female pasting remained consistent throughout early development. Pasting was sexually dimorphic in that male cubs pasted more frequently than female cubs, and male subadults countermarked more often than their female peers. By examining the anal pouches of 113 anaesthetized individuals, we also determined that spotted hyenas do not consistently produce paste until their third year. In light of these findings, the potential functions of pasting by juvenile hyenas were discussed.


Giant Panda Pasting Behavior Agonistic Interaction Social Rank Subadult Male 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media,LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin R. Theis
    • 1
  • Anna L. Heckla
  • Joseph R. Verge
  • Kay E. Holekamp
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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