Previous research has demonstrated that rodents from the same family, species, or population share similarities in their individual odors that correlate with shared genetic similarities. In habituation experiments using urine odors of individuals from four sibling species belonging to the Spalax ehrenbergi superspecies, male and female mole rats treated odors of individuals from more closely related species as similar, compared with the odor of an individual from a less closely related species. The odor similarities paralleled genetic similarities, suggesting that some odor qualities of the ancestral species persist in the descendant species. If the shared qualities in individual odors change as the population genetics change during adaptation to different ecogeographical areas, and if odor preferences and their associated mate preferences change in parallel with changes in the shared population odors, this would provide an odor-preference-based mechanism for prezygotic reproductive isolation between incipient species. The cumulative evidence lends support to the hypothesis that shared odor qualities provide a basis for identifying family, species, and population members and, ultimately, a mechanism that contributes to reproductive isolation.
|Number of pages||2|
|Journal||Israel Journal of Zoology|
|State||Published - 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology