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Lahger, C. & Laska, M. (2018). Behavioral responses of CD-1 mice to conspecific and heterospecific blood odors and to a blood odor component. Physiology and Behavior, 184, 205-210
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Behavioral responses of CD-1 mice to conspecific and heterospecific blood odors and to a blood odor component
2018 (English)In: Physiology and Behavior, ISSN 0031-9384, E-ISSN 1873-507X, Vol. 184, p. 205-210Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The odor of blood may have both aversive and attractive properties for mammals, depending on the species of the odor donor and the species perceiving the odor. To better understand the informational content of blood odor for a prey species we assessed behavioral responses of male CD-1 mice (n = 60) to the odor of blood of same-sex and opposite-sex conspecifics, of a natural predator of mice (cat), and of a herbivore (horse) and an omnivore (human) non-predator of mice. Further, we assessed their behavior towards the mammalian blood odor component trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal which recent studies have shown to be as attractive to mammalian predators as the odor of real blood. A two-compartment test arena was used to record approach/avoidance behavior when the animals were presented with an odor in one compartment and a blank control in the other compartment. We found that both conspecific and heterospecific blood odors elicited significant avoidance behavior in the mice whereas a control odor (n-pentyl acetate) did not. The blood odor component trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal was also significantly avoided and thus appears to play an important role in the perception of mammalian blood odor in this prey species. These results support the notion that mammalian blood odor contains an olfactory warning signal which elicits an adaptive behavioral avoidance response in a prey species, the mouse. Our finding that the mice avoided the mammalian blood odor component trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal to the same degree as the odor of real blood suggests that this volatile compound might be (part of) this warning signal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018
Keywords
Blood odor, Mouse, avoidance response, Habituation, Epoxydecenal
National Category
Biological Sciences Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-144040 (URN)10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.12.006 (DOI)000423637200027 ()
Available from: 2018-01-05 Created: 2018-01-05 Last updated: 2018-02-12Bibliographically approved
Hernandez-Hernandez, J. C., Morales-Mavil, J. E., Laska, M. & Hernandez-Salazar, L. T. (2018). Diet selectivity in relation to food quality and availability by the endemic Perote squirrel (Xerospermophilus perotensis). Therya, 9(2), 121-127
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Diet selectivity in relation to food quality and availability by the endemic Perote squirrel (Xerospermophilus perotensis)
2018 (English)In: Therya, ISSN 2007-3364, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 121-127Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Climatic fluctuations have a biogeochemical effect on food availability and quality, resulting in adjustments of the foraging and food selection behavior of animals. Our study aimed to evaluate the influence of seasonal variation on abundance of food resources and its effect on food selection of Xerospermophilus perotensis, an endemic species of ground squirrel in the Oriental Basin. Food selection behavior was recorded using focal animal and continuous behavior sampling on a squirrel population inhabiting the grassland of a semi-arid area. The results show that their diet consisted of 6 plant species with significant differences in the time spent feeding on each plant species (X2 = 128.96; P = 0.01). The species with the highest feeding times included Scleropogon brevifolius (63.6 %), Verbena bipinnatifida (10.6 %) and Erigeron pubescens (10.5 %). These plant species had the highest percentage of vegetation cover and availability among seasons, but they were of low nutritional quality with regard to their protein/fiber ratio. However, during specific periods, associated either with gestation and lactation or prior to hibernation, the squirrels increased their protein consumption. This suggests that squirrels are opportunistic feeders, and under certain conditions tend to select plant species that provide them with better quality diets.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Colonia Villa Quietud, Mexico: Asociacion Mexicana de Mastozoologia A.C., 2018
Keywords
Diet; endemism; ground squirrel; nutritional quality; seasonal variation
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-148303 (URN)10.12933/therya-18-553 (DOI)
Available from: 2018-06-07 Created: 2018-06-07 Last updated: 2018-06-13Bibliographically approved
Nicklasson, S., Sjöström, D., Amundin, M., Roth, D., Hernandez Salazar, L. T. & Laska, M. (2018). Taste responsiveness to two steviol glycosides in three species of nonhuman primates. Current Zoology, 64(1), 63-68
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Taste responsiveness to two steviol glycosides in three species of nonhuman primates
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2018 (English)In: Current Zoology, ISSN 1674-5507, Vol. 64, no 1, p. 63-68Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Primates have been found to differ widely in their taste perception and studies suggest that a co-evolution between plant species bearing a certain taste substance and primate species feeding on these plants may contribute to such between-species differences. Considering that only platyrrhine primates, but not catarrhine or prosimian primates, share an evolutionary history with the neotropical plant Stevia rebaudiana, we assessed whether members of these three primate taxa differ in their ability to perceive and/or in their sensitivity to its two quantitatively predominant sweet-tasting substances. We found that not only neotropical black-handed spider monkeys, but also paleotropical black-and-white ruffed lemurs and Western chimpanzees are clearly able to perceive stevioside and rebaudioside A. Using a two-bottle preference test of short duration, we found that Ateles geoffroyi preferred concentrations as low as 0.05 mM stevioside and 0.01 mM rebaudioside A over tap water. Taste preference thresholds of Pan troglodytes were similar to those of the spider monkeys, with 0.05 mM for stevioside and 0.03 mM for rebaudioside A, whereas Varecia variegata was slightly less sensitive with a threshold value of 0.1 mM for both substances. Thus, all three primate species are, similar to human subjects, clearly more sensitive to both steviol glycosides compared to sucrose. Only the spider monkeys displayed concentration-response curves with both stevioside and rebaudioside A which can best be described as an inverted U-shaped function suggesting that Ateles geoffroyi, similar to human subjects, may perceive a bitter side taste at higher concentrations of these substances. Taken together, the results of the present study do not support the notion that a co-evolution between plant and primate species may account for between-species differences in taste perception of steviol glycosides.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2018
Keywords
taste preference thresholds, stevioside, rebaudioside A, Western chimpanzees, spider monkeys, black-and-white ruffed lemurs
National Category
Zoology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-145206 (URN)10.1093/cz/zox012 (DOI)000425719000007 ()29492039 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2018-02-16 Created: 2018-02-16 Last updated: 2018-03-20Bibliographically approved
Sievert, T. & Laska, M. (2016). Behavioral Responses of CD-1 Mice to SixPredator Odor Components. Chemical Senses, 41(5), 399-406
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Behavioral Responses of CD-1 Mice to SixPredator Odor Components
2016 (English)In: Chemical Senses, ISSN 0379-864X, E-ISSN 1464-3553, Vol. 41, no 5, p. 399-406Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mammalian prey species are able to detect predator odors and to display appropriate defensivebehavior. However, there is only limited knowledge about whether single compounds of predatorodors are sufficient to elicit such behavior. Therefore, we assessed if predator-naïve CD-1 mice(n = 60) avoid sulfur-containing compounds that are characteristic components of natural predatorodors and/or display other indicators of anxiety. A 2-compartment test arena was used to assessapproach/avoidance behavior, general motor activity, and the number of fecal pellets excretedwhen the animals were presented with 1 of 6 predator odor components in one compartment anda blank control in the other compartment. We found that 2 of the 6 predator odor components(2-propylthietane and 3-methyl-1-butanethiol) were significantly avoided by the mice. The remaining4 predator odor components (2,2-dimethylthietane, 3-mercapto-3-methylbutan-1-ol, 3-mercapto-3-methylbutyl-1-formate, and methyl-2-phenylethyl sulphide) as well as a nonpredator-associatedfruity odor (n-pentyl acetate) were not avoided. Neither the general motor activity nor the numberof excreted fecal pellets, both widely used measures of stress- or anxiety-related behavior, weresystematically affected by any of the odorants tested. Further, we found that small changes in themolecular structure of a predator odor component can have a marked effect on its behavioralsignificance as 2-propylthietane was significantly avoided by the mice whereas the structurallyrelated 2,2-dimethylthietane was not. We conclude that sulfur-containing volatiles identified ascharacteristic components of the urine, feces, and anal gland secretions of mammalian predatorscan be, but are not necessarily sufficient to elicit defensive behaviors in a mammalian prey species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2016
Keywords
avoidance response, mouse, predator odor, sulfur-containing odorants
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-129387 (URN)10.1093/chemse/bjw015 (DOI)000379739400002 ()26892309 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2016-06-17 Created: 2016-06-17 Last updated: 2018-03-26
Hanson, M., Jojola, S. M., Rawson, N. E., Crowe, M. & Laska, M. (2016). Facial expressions and other behavioral responses to pleasant andunpleasant tastes in cats (Felis silvestris catus). Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 181, 129-136
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Facial expressions and other behavioral responses to pleasant andunpleasant tastes in cats (Felis silvestris catus)
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2016 (English)In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, ISSN 0168-1591, E-ISSN 1872-9045, Vol. 181, p. 129-136Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The goal of the present study was to assess how cats react to tastes previously reported to be preferredor avoided relative to water. To this end, the facial and behavioral reactions of 13 cats to differentconcentrations of l-Proline and quinine monohydrochloride (QHCl) as well as mixtures with differentconcentrations of the two substances were assessed using a two-bottle preference test of short duration.The cats were videotaped and the frequency and duration of different behaviors were analyzed. Significantdifferences in the cats’ behavior in response to the taste quality of the different solutions included,but were not limited to, Tongue Protrusions (p < 0.039), Mouth smacks (p = 0.008) and Nose Licks (p = 0.011)with four different stimulus concentrations. The cats responded to preferred taste by keeping their Eyeshalf-closed (p = 0.017) for significantly longer periods of time with four different stimulus concentrationscompared to a water control. When encountering mixtures containing l-Proline and QHCl the cats performedTongue protrusion gapes (p < 0.038) significantly more frequently with three different stimulusconcentrations compared to an l-Proline control. A stepwise increase in the concentration of l-Prolinefrom 5 mM to 500 mM in mixtures with 50 M QHCl did not overcome the negative impact of the bittertaste on intake. The results of the present study suggest that behavioral responses provide an additionaldimension and may be more informative than consumption data alone to assess whether cats perceivetastes as pleasant or unpleasant. Thus, the analysis of behavioral responses to different taste qualitiesmay be a useful tool to assess and improve the acceptance of commercial food by cats.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016
Keywords
Behavior, Cat, Felis silvestris catus, Taste reactivity, l-Proline, Quinine monohydrochloride
National Category
Neurosciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-130502 (URN)10.1016/j.applanim.2016.05.031 (DOI)000381171300017 ()
Available from: 2016-08-11 Created: 2016-08-11 Last updated: 2018-03-20
Scharis, I., Rasmussen, G. S. A. & Laska, M. (2016). Using morphometrics to quantitatively differentiateAfrican wild dog footprints from domestic dogfootprints – a pilot study. African Journal of Ecology, 54(1)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Using morphometrics to quantitatively differentiateAfrican wild dog footprints from domestic dogfootprints – a pilot study
2016 (English)In: African Journal of Ecology, ISSN 0141-6707, E-ISSN 1365-2028, Vol. 54, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Reliable population estimation and species inventories areimportant for wildlife conservation, but such estimationsare often difficult due to unreliable identification of thespecies in question. Furthermore, for predator conflictresolution, it is essential to be able to reliably identify thepredator. This study presents a new method to quantitativelydistinguish African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) footprintsfrom feral domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)footprints. Footprint photographs were digitally processedusing Photoshop and the NIH image processing softwareImageJ, and total pad area and angles between thecentroids of the backpad and the digits of the paw weremeasured. Pad angles showed statistically significantdifferences between the two species and, with the exceptionthat there was no significant difference in pad areabetween African wild dog females and domestic dog males,total pad areas were also diagnostic. Consequently, thecombination of total pad area and the angle betweenbackpad and digits are useful discriminators to reliablyidentify the species from an unknown footprint.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2016
Keywords
conflict resolution, footprint analysis, Lycaon pictus, population estimation, spoor
National Category
Ecology Forest Science Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-125191 (URN)10.1111/aje.12217 (DOI)000370193500002 ()
Available from: 2016-02-15 Created: 2016-02-15 Last updated: 2018-01-10
Laska, M. (2015). Busting a myth: humans are not generally less sensitive to odors than nonhuman mammals: .. In: Chemical Senses: . Paper presented at Associaltion for Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS), 37th Annual Meeting, Bonita Springs, Florida, 22-25 April 2015 (pp. 537). , 40
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Busting a myth: humans are not generally less sensitive to odors than nonhuman mammals: .
2015 (English)In: Chemical Senses, 2015, Vol. 40, p. 537-Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120691 (URN)10.1093/chemse/bjv029 (DOI)
Conference
Associaltion for Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS), 37th Annual Meeting, Bonita Springs, Florida, 22-25 April 2015
Available from: 2015-08-21 Created: 2015-08-21 Last updated: 2015-09-14
Nevo, O., Orts Garri, R., Hernandez Salazar, L. T., Shulz, S., Heymann, E. W., Ayasse, M. & Laska, M. (2015). Chemical recognition of fruitripeness in spider monkeys (Atelesgeoffroyi). Scientific Reports, 5, 1-10, Article ID 14895.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Chemical recognition of fruitripeness in spider monkeys (Atelesgeoffroyi)
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2015 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 5, p. 1-10, article id 14895Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Primates are now known to possess well-developed olfactory sensitivity and discrimination capacitiesthat can play a substantial role in many aspects of their interaction with conspecifics and theenvironment. Several studies have demonstrated that olfactory cues may be useful in fruit selection.Here, using a conditioning paradigm, we show that captive spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) displayhigh olfactory discrimination performance between synthetic odor mixtures mimicking ripe andunripe fruits of two wild, primate-consumed, Neotropical plant species. Further, we show that spidermonkeys are able to discriminate the odor of ripe fruits from odors that simulate unripe fruits thatbecome increasingly similar to that of ripe ones. These results suggest that the ability of spidermonkeys to identify ripe fruits may not depend on the presence of any individual compound thatmark fruit ripeness. Further, the results demonstrate that spider monkeys are able to identify ripefruits even when the odor signal is accompanied by a substantial degree of noise.

National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121816 (URN)10.1038/srep14895 (DOI)000362279900001 ()26440380 (PubMedID)
Note

Funding text: German Science Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) [HE 1870/19-1, AY 12/7-1]; Minerva foundation; Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONACYT) Mexico [J-51435-IV]

Available from: 2015-10-07 Created: 2015-10-07 Last updated: 2017-12-01
Wielbass, A., Amundin, M. & Laska, M. (2015). Gustatory Responsiveness of Black-and-White Ruffed Lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata) to Food-Associated Sugars. International journal of primatology, 36(3), 460-472
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gustatory Responsiveness of Black-and-White Ruffed Lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata) to Food-Associated Sugars
2015 (English)In: International journal of primatology, ISSN 0164-0291, E-ISSN 1573-8604, Vol. 36, no 3, p. 460-472Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Nonhuman primates differ widely in various aspects of their ecology and are thus particularly suitable for studying the mechanisms underlying interspecies differences in taste perception. Therefore, we assessed taste preference thresholds as well as relative preferences for five food-associated sugars in three adult black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata) using two-bottle choice tests of brief duration (1 min). We found that the subjects significantly preferred concentrations as low as 25 mM sucrose and fructose, and 50 mM glucose, maltose, and lactose over tap water. When given a choice between all binary combinations of the same five saccharides presented at equimolar concentrations of 50, 100, and 200 mM, respectively, the subjects displayed marked preferences for individual sugars in the following order: sucrose greater than fructose greater than glucose greater than= maltose greater than= lactose. The sensitivity of the black-and-white ruffed lemurs to the five saccharides falls into the same range as that reported in other primates. The pattern of relative preferences for food-associated sugars was found to be largely similar to that reported in platyrrhine primates and in human subjects, but differed from that reported in a catarrhine primate. Taken together, the results of the present study support the notions that the taste sensitivity in primates for food-associated sugars may correlate with phylogenetic relatedness, with body mass, and with lactose content in milk. Further, the results support the notion that relative preferences for food-associated sugars in primates, but not necessarily their sweettaste sensitivity, may correlate with dietary specialization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SPRINGER, 2015
Keywords
Black-and-white ruffed lemurs; Food-associated sugars; Gustatory responsiveness; Relative sweetness; Taste preference thresholds; Varecia variegata
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121767 (URN)10.1007/s10764-015-9835-3 (DOI)000361133200002 ()
Available from: 2015-10-07 Created: 2015-10-05 Last updated: 2017-12-01
Hanson, M., Rawson, N., Jojola, S., Crowe, M. & Laska, M. (2015). Nose Licking Good? - A Study on Taste Reactivity in Domestic Cats (Felis catus). In: Chemical Senses: . Paper presented at Association for Chemoreseption Sciences (AChemS), 37th Annual Meeting, Bonita Springs, Florida, 22-25 April 2015 (pp. 535-668). , 40
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Nose Licking Good? - A Study on Taste Reactivity in Domestic Cats (Felis catus)
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2015 (English)In: Chemical Senses, 2015, Vol. 40, p. 535-668Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120682 (URN)
Conference
Association for Chemoreseption Sciences (AChemS), 37th Annual Meeting, Bonita Springs, Florida, 22-25 April 2015
Available from: 2015-08-20 Created: 2015-08-20 Last updated: 2015-09-14
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-5583-2697

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