Dietary-dependent cross-species similarities in maternal chemical cues

Richard H. Porter, Helen M. Doane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Acomys cahirinus pups preferred chemical cues from conspecific lactating females maintained on the maternal diet as compared to such cues from females fed an unfamiliar diet. Likewise, chemical cues from maternal diet Mus musculus were preferred over those from unfamiliar diet conspecific females. Thus, the production of maternal chemical stimuli may be basically similar in Acomys and Mus, with maternal diet being more critical than genetically programmed species-specific characteristics in determining the properties of the chemical cues to which A. cahirinus pups respond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-131
Number of pages3
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1977

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
EXPERIMENT 1: DIETARY INFLUENCES ON CONSPECIFIC MATERNAL CHEMICAL ATTRACTANTS The first experiment investigated whether A cahinnus pups respond differentially to chemical cues produced by a lactating female conspeciflc whose diet is identical to that of the pups' mother (maternal diet) vs. such cues produced by a lactating female fed a markedly different (unfamiliar) i The research projects reported in this paper were supported by NICHD grant No 00973 and a grant from the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr Foundation awarded to the John F Kennedy Center for Research on Education and Human Development of George Peabody College.


  • Dietary-dependent chemical cues
  • Maternal pheromones
  • Precocial mammals


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