Social Rank in House Mice: Differentiation Revealed by Ultraviolet Visualization of Urinary Marking Patterns

Science  30 Nov 1973:
Vol. 182, Issue 4115, pp. 939-941
DOI: 10.1126/science.182.4115.939


Ultraviolet light has been used to examine urine marks deposited by adult male house mice on filter paper on the floors of their cages during overnight tests. Both the urination frequency and the pattern in which urine was deposited on the filter paper depended upon social rank. Dominant males vigorously marked their entire cage floor, whereas subordinate males typically voided urine in only two to four pools in the corners of their cages.

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