Behavioural responses in mice exposed to predator odour components
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10,5 credits / 16 HE creditsStudent thesis
It is essential for prey species to be able to detect predators to avoid them. The sense of smell is used by a number of prey species for this purpose. The aim of the present study was to assess if one of the odourants that make up a predator odour is sufficient to induce a behavioural response in mice (Mus musculus). Two predator odourants were used, 2,2-dimethylthietane and methyl-2-phenylethyl sulfide, which are both found in the secretions of natural predators of mice. An odourant found in fruits, n-pentyl acetate, was also used. All three odourants were presented at a concentration that was a factor of 100 above the olfactory detection threshold of mice. Ten adult predator-naïve CD-1 mice were individually put in a two-compartment chamber one of which contained an odourant while the other contained a near-odourless solvent (diethyl phthalate). The results indicated that methyl-2-phenylethyl sulfide was actively avoided by the mice. Towards 2,2-dimethylthietane and n-pentyl acetate, in contrast, the mice behaved indifferent. Further, the results suggest a significant correlation between the number of switches between the two compartments of the test chamber and the test sessions when the animals were presented with n-pentyl acetate, but not when they were presented with the predator odourants. The results support the notion of an innate fear response towards the predator odourant methyl-2-phenylethyl sulfide in mice, but further studies with more animals and different concentrations of the odourants are necessary.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 20 p.
Mice (mus musculus), Predator odourants, 2, 2-dimethylthietane, Methyl-2-phenylethyl sulfide, N-pentyl acetate, Behavioural response, neophobia, prey species
Behavioral Sciences Biology Zoology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-108103ISRN: LiTH-IFM- Ex-14/2882-SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-108103DiVA: diva2:730522
Subject / course
2014-06-05, Nobel, Linköpings universitet 58183, Linköping, 14:30 (English)
Laska, Matthias, Professor
Hargeby, Anders, Universitetslektor