Flehmen and vomeronasal organ function in male goats

Jan Ladewig, Benjamin Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The possible role of flehmen behavior in facilitating the passage of non-volatile materials from the oral cavity to the vomeronasal organ (VNO) was studied by the use of a tracer dye, sodium fluorescein. The dye was applied to the oral cavity of six male goats in which flehmen was elicited by the presentation of female urine. Immediately afterwards a lethal dosage of anesthetic was given and the maxilla, including the VNO, was removed, frozen, and cut into transverse sections. Seven control subjects were treated similarly but were not stimulated to display flehmen. Examination of transverse sections under ultraviolet illumination revealed dye in the posterior part of the VNO in most subjects that performed flehmen but only in the anterior part of the VNO of subjects that did not perform flehmen. Inasmuch as only the middle and posterior parts of the VNO contain sensory epithelium, it was concluded that, if the dye represented a behaviorally significant non-volatile material (sex attractant), only the goats that showed flehmen would have detected the material from VNO chemoreception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1071
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1980

Fingerprint

Vomeronasal Organ
Goats
Coloring Agents
Mouth
Sex Attractants
Maxilla
Fluorescein
Lighting
Anesthetics
Epithelium
Urine

Keywords

  • Flehmen
  • Male goats
  • Vomeronasal organ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Flehmen and vomeronasal organ function in male goats. / Ladewig, Jan; Hart, Benjamin.

In: Physiology and Behavior, Vol. 24, No. 6, 01.01.1980, p. 1067-1071.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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