Androgen Control of Territorial Marking in the Mongolian Gerbil

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Science  26 Apr 1968:
Vol. 160, Issue 3826, pp. 432-434
DOI: 10.1126/science.160.3826.432


Gerbils mark objects with the secretion of a midventral sebaceous gland. Both the behavior and the gland integrity are under androgen control, as indicated by castration and replacement with testosterone propionate. The integrity of the gland seems less important for marking than an influence on the central nervous system, although the gland can be used as an external measure of androgen levels. It is possible that the secretion acts as a pheromone to signal territorial possession.

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