Latrine utilization and feces recognition in the raccoon dog, Nyctereutes procyonoides

  • Yamamoto I
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Abstract

In the raccoon dog, Nyctereutes procyonoides, utilization of latrines (def- ecation and urination sites), and olfactory recognition and memorization of latrine feces were studied in captivity. All individuals living within a cage utilized 1 communal latrine. The continuous and communal utilization of the latrine was based on a be- havioural trait to deposit their excrement on the dung pile which was already present. They were attracted not only by their own dung pile but also by that of strange con- specifics. However, raccoon dogs could olfactorily recognize and memorize both their own feces and that of strange conspecifics individually. These results indicate that, in the raccoon dog, latrines serve as a place of information exchange about con- specific individuals, and olfactory memorization of the feces adjusts their social be- haviour when they acutually encounter each other.

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Authors

  • Itsuko Yamamoto

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