Section 22
Chapter 21,920

The effects of cross-fostering on the behaviour of two species of North American lemmings, Dicrostonyx groenlandicus and Lemmus trimucronatus: 1. Olfactory preferences

Huck, UW.; Banks, EM.

Animal Behaviour 284: 1046-1052


ISSN/ISBN: 0003-3472
Accession: 021919796

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To determine the role of the maternal environment in the development of adult olfactory preferences, the young of 2 spp. of North American lemmings (D. groenlandicus and L. trimucronatus) were reciprocally cross-fostered shortly after birth. In-fostered (reared by foster conspecific females) and non-fostered animals served as controls. When adult, subjects, were tested for olfactory preferences in a free-choice Y-maze olfactometer. When compared to controls, cross-fostered animals showed an increased preference for heterospecific odor. This effect was stronger for males than for females. Adult species-specific odor preferences are learned during the neonatal period.

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