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The underexplored role of chemical communication in the domestic horse, Equus caballus

Author:
Guarneros, Marco, Sánchez-García, Octavio, Martínez-Gómez, Margarita, Arteaga, Lourdes
Source:
Journal of veterinary behavior 2020 v.38 pp. 89-95
ISSN:
1558-7878
Subject:
animal welfare, chemical communication, domestication, foals, sexual behavior, social structure, stress response
Abstract:
This work provides an overview of the role of chemical communication in horse behavior and addresses the potential usefulness of this knowledge for management practices and animal welfare. First, we present an outline of the social organization of horses under natural conditions and the problems that may emerge due to domestication. Second, we briefly describe the mammalian olfactory system, noting the peculiarities of horses. Third, we describe some behaviors in which horses use chemical communication, including sexual behavior, and the mother-young relationship. Finally, the article focuses on the gaps in information on the chemical communication of the horse and the underexplored possible advantages of using chemical signals to reduce the stress response of foals and horses in the context of domestication.
Agid:
6960999