Mammalian Scent Marking

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Science  05 Feb 1971:
Vol. 171, Issue 3970, pp. 443-449
DOI: 10.1126/science.171.3970.443


Mammals mark frequently in any situation where they are both intolerant of and dominant to other members of the same species. In other words, they mark when they are likely to attack another member of the same species, and are likely to win if they do attack. Such a situation occurs, as Hediger (13) pointed out, in connection with territoriality but it also occurs in other kinds of social systems. Frequent, vigorous marking occurs at times when there is reason to infer that the animal is motivated to aggression. The effects of marks and marking upon other individuals are poorly understood. Many species mark with more than one source of scent in response to one stimulus or set of stimuli.