Odor communication and mate choice in rodents


This paper details how chemical communication is affected by ecological challenges such as finding mates. I list several conditions that affect the decision to attract mates, the decision to respond to the signals of potential mates and how the response depends on context. These mate-choice decisions and their outcomes will depend on the life history constraints placed on individuals such as their fecundity, sex, lifespan, opportunities to mate in the future and age at senescence. Consequently, the sender’s decision to scent mark or self-groom as well as the receiver’s choice of response represents a tradeoff between the current costs of the participant’s own survival and future reproduction against that of reproducing now. The decision to scent nark and the response to the scent mark of opposite-sex conspecifics should maximize the fitness of the participants in that context.

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