A Spanish research team says vitamin D might be used by Iberian rock lizards as a pheromone to attract potential mates.
The researchers report female Iberian rock lizards became excited by secretions from the males, but it's still not certain whether vitamin D could play the same role in humans.
The scientists did, however, find that in lizards, the presence of vitamins in male secretions might be a sign of good health, which, would be a useful signal to females selecting a mate.
"Most of the essential nutrients are also in the secretion," Jose Martin of the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid told the BBC. "The male lizard puts in the secretion what he has in his body, and this will be a reflection of his health.
"In other lizard species, we have found a large amount of vitamin E in the secretion and we think that this will have a similar function as vitamin D."
The study is reported in the Royal Society journal Proceedings B.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: Free the seed: OSSI nurtures growing plants without patent barriers