Odor communication in wild gorillas

July 9, 2014
This image depicts the silverback on which the study was based. Credit: Michelle Klailova

Silverback gorillas appear to use odor as a form of communication to other gorillas, according to a study published July 9, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Michelle Klailova from University of Stirling, UK, and colleagues.

Mammals communicate socially through visual, auditory, and chemical signals. The chemical sense is in fact the oldest sense, shared by all organisms including bacteria, and mounting evidence suggests that humans also participate in social chemical signaling. However, not much is known about this type of signaling in closely related hominoids, like wild apes. To better understand chemical - in apes, scientists in this study analyzed odor strength in relation to arousal levels in a wild group of western lowland gorillas in the Central African Republic, specifically focusing on the male silverback, or the mature leader of the group. Scientists determined the factors that predicted extreme levels of odor emission from the silverback. They hypothesized that if gorilla scent were being used as a social signal, instead of only a sign of arousal or stress, odor emission would depend on social context and would vary depending on the gorilla's relationship to other gorillas.

According to the results, the male silverback may use odor as a modifiable form of social communication, where context-specific chemical-signals may moderate the social behaviors of other . The authors predicted extreme silverback odor, where the odor was the only element that could be smelled in the surrounding air, by the presence and intensity of interactions between different gorilla groups such as silverback anger, distress and long-calling auditory rates, and the absence of close proximity between the silverback and the mother of the youngest infant. The authors suggest that communication between apes may be especially useful in Central African forests, where limited visibility may necessitate increased reliance on other senses.

Michelle Klailova added, "No study has yet investigated the presence and extent to which chemo–communication may moderate behaviour in non-human great apes. We provide crucial ancestral links to human chemo-signaling, bridge the gap between Old World monkey and human chemo-communication, and offer compelling evidence that olfactory communication in hominoids is much more important than traditionally thought."

Explore further: Gorilla study gives clues to human language development

More information: Klailova M, Lee PC (2014) Wild Western Lowland Gorillas Signal Selectively Using Odor. PLoS ONE 9(7): e99554. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099554

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1 / 5 (4) Jul 09, 2014
Re: "We provide crucial ancestral links to human chemo-signaling, bridge the gap between Old World monkey and human chemo-communication, and offer compelling evidence that olfactory communication in hominoids is much more important than traditionally thought."

Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model.

Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology

"In other mammals, the olfactory link among hormones, pheromones, and a conspecific's hormones and behavior would readily establish that visually perceived facial attractiveness, bodily symmetry, attractive WHRs, and genetically determined HLA attractiveness, are due to the neuroendocrinological conditioning of visual responsivity to olfactory stimuli. Yet, we have merely scratched the surface with regard to the pheromonal basis of human mate choice."
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Jul 09, 2014
Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model.
this cannot be a model of evolution, because you've also claimed
Ecological variation is consistently linked via nutrient-dependent amino acid substitutions to ecological adaptations via conserved molecular mechanisms, not by mutation-initiated natural selection
which proves that you are an idiot, because you don't know what you are talking about. remember.. I asked
DOES your model make any changes to the nucleotide sequence of the genome of an organism, virus, or extrachromosomal genetic element?
This is a yes or no answer
THIS is the DEFINITION of MUTATION- to which you answered
--Thanks for asking
so either you are an idiot
you don't comprehend the lexicon of your field
or you are BLATANTLY lying!

I think it is all three, myself

NOT MINE, mensa boy

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