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Chem Senses. 2001 Jun;26(5):449-58.

Female marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus) can be identified from the chemical composition of their scent marks.

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1
School of Biology and Biochemistry, Queen's University of Belfast, Medical Biology Centre, Belfast, UK. t.smith@qub.ac.uk

Abstract

The present study analyzed 42 organic solvent extracts of scent mark pools from five dominant female common marmosets by gas chromatography (GC) and combined GC and mass spectrometry. We determined whether there were qualitative or quantitative differences between the chemical composition of scent marks from individual females. Gas chromatography and mass spectral analysis detected the same 162 chemicals in 86% (36/42) of scent mark pools from five dominant females. This near identical chemical composition of scent marks suggested there were few, if any, qualitative differences between the chemical composition of scent marks from individual females. Instead, quantitative differences in scent may provide the key factor distinguishing individual females. Using the relative concentration of highly volatile chemicals detected by GC in scent marks, linear discriminant analysis classified scent mark pools to their correct donor approximately 91% of the time. Such highly reliable statistical matching of scent to donor suggested that each individual female common marmoset has a unique ratio of highly volatile chemicals in their scent marks which may permit individual identification of females from odors in their scent alone.

PMID:
11418490
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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