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Am J Primatol. 2006 Jun;68(6):650-61.

Scent marking strategies of New World primates.

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Abteilung Verhaltensökologie & Soziobiologie, Deutsches Primatenzentrum, Göttingen, Germany.


This paper reviews recent findings on scent-marking behavior in wild New World primates. These findings are used to examine three functional hypotheses: territoriality, regulation of social and reproductive dominance, and mating competition/mate attraction. Available data provide little evidence for a territorial function of scent-marking behavior in New World primates. Evidence for a function in the regulation of social and reproductive dominance is ambiguous. The patterns of scent marking found so far (i.e., rates of scent marking according to sex and social or reproductive status, and the spatial distribution of scent marks), and the sparse information on responses to scent marks are consistent with a hypothesized function in intrasexual competition and intersexual mate choice. Suggestions for future research are made.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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