Influence of Specific Skin Glands on the Sexual Maturation of Male Golden and Campbell’s Hamsters
Chemical signals play an important role in mammalian communication (Brown, 1979, 1985). Secretions of skin glands have been of particular interest. Glands used for chemical communication are widespread among mammals from different taxonomic groups (Quay, 1977; Adams, 1980). Although several researchers have studied specialized skin glands and associated marking behaviors (Eisenberg and Kleiman, 1972; Johnston, 1973, 1990; Thiessen and Rice, 1976), many questions regarding their function remain. It has been suggested that such glands may contribute to the regulation of population density by influencing reproduction (Naumov, 1973). Apparently this influence can occur through both behavioral (communicative) and physiological mechanisms. The communicative significance of skin glands has been studied intensively, but their physiological effects have not been investigated. The influence of stimuli from specialized skin glands on the rate of sexual maturation has been demonstrated only for primates (Dr. Jane Barrett, personal communication) and the Campbell’s hamster (Sokolov et al., 1989 a,b).
KeywordsSexual Maturation Gland Secretion Golden Hamster Chemical Communication Scent Gland
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