Captive golden spiny mice (Acomys russatus) use odors from different sources to mark their home area. The marking behavior is sexually dimorphic, with males marking more frequently than most females. This difference may be related to mobility; females being more sedentary than males. In both sexes, the entrance to the nesting place was the main site of marking. The animals repeatedly marked this area by smearing the entrance with a thick oral secretion and by depositing small urine marks. Under the harsh ecological conditions under which A. russatus lives, nesting sites are presumably subject to fierce competition. The role of this chemical signaling in the temporal segregation between the two sympatric species, A. russatus and A. cahirinus, is discussed. Golden spiny mice also mark their food and leftovers with oral scent. This marking may have a social function in making food detection easier for the kin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology