Olfactory discrimination ability of South African fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus) for enantiomers
2013 (English)In: Journal of Comparative Physiology A. Sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology, ISSN 0340-7594, E-ISSN 1432-1351, Vol. 199, no 6, 535-544 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Using a food-rewarded two-choice instrumentalconditioning paradigm we assessed the ability of SouthAfrican fur seals, Arctocephalus pusillus, to discriminatebetween 12 enantiomeric odor pairs. The results demonstratethat the fur seals as a group were able to discriminatebetween the optical isomers of carvone, dihydrocarvone,dihydrocarveol, menthol, limonene oxide, a-pinene,fenchone (all p\0.01), and b-citronellol (p\0.05),whereas they failed to distinguish between the (?)- and(-)-forms of limonene, isopulegol, rose oxide, and camphor(all p[0.05). An analysis of odor structure–activityrelationships suggests that a combination of molecularstructural properties rather than a single molecular featuremay be responsible for the discriminability of enantiomericodor pairs. A comparison between the discrimination performanceof the fur seals and that of other species testedpreviously on the same set of enantiomers (or subsetsthereof) suggests that the olfactory discrimination capabilitiesof this marine mammal are surprisingly well developedand not generally inferior to that of terrestrial mammalssuch as human subjects and non-human primates. Further,comparisons suggest that neither the relative nor the absolutesize of the olfactory bulbs appear to be reliable predictorsof between-species differences in olfactorydiscrimination capabilities. Taken together, the results ofthe present study support the notion that the sense of smellmay play an important and hitherto underestimated role inregulating the behavior of fur seals.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2013. Vol. 199, no 6, 535-544 p.
Olfactory discrimination Enantiomers South African fur seals Arctocephalus pusillus Marine mammals
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-93333DOI: 10.1007/s00359-012-0759-5ISI: 000319513500010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-93333DiVA: diva2:624172