Translator Disclaimer
1 December 2014 Evidence of individual odors and individual discrimination in the raccoon, Procyon lotor
Laura Kent, Zuleyma Tang-Martínez
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

Although raccoons (Procyon lotor) were originally categorized as solitary carnivores, recent evidence shows that some raccoons have overlapping home ranges, travel in groups, and share dens. Moreover, raccoons use communal latrines and scent mark, suggesting that chemical signals may be important for communication. Using a familiarization–discrimination technique we investigated whether raccoons can discriminate individual differences in the odors of conspecific urine or feces. The subjects were wild caught (n = 10 raccoons for urine experiments; n = 8 raccoons for feces experiments) and tested in a large outdoor enclosure. We demonstrated that raccoons can distinguish individual differences in the odor of unfamiliar and unrelated conspecific urine, but not in the odor of feces. Gas chromatography was also done on the urine samples to look for chemical differences. The gas chromatograms showed visible differences and qualitative as well as quantitative differences in chemical composition. This is the 1st study to determine that raccoons can distinguish individual differences in chemosensory cues. This opens the door to future research on the role of olfaction in raccoon social organization.

Laura Kent and Zuleyma Tang-Martínez "Evidence of individual odors and individual discrimination in the raccoon, Procyon lotor," Journal of Mammalogy 95(6), 1254-1262, (1 December 2014). https://doi.org/10.1644/14-MAMM-A-009
Received: 12 January 2014; Accepted: 1 July 2014; Published: 1 December 2014
JOURNAL ARTICLE
9 PAGES

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.
+ SAVE TO MY LIBRARY

SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top