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Preen oil chemical composition encodes individuality, seasonal variation and kinship in black kites Milvus migrans

Potier, Simon LU ; Besnard, Malicia M.; Schikorski, David; Buatois, Bruno; Duriez, Olivier; Gabirot, Marianne; Leclaire, Sarah and Bonadonna, Francesco (2018) In Journal of Avian Biology 49(7).
Abstract

Evidence that bird odour can encode social information that can be used in chemical communication is growing, but is restricted to a few taxonomic groups. Among birds, diurnal raptors (i.e. birds from the Accipitriformes and Falconiformes order) have always been considered as mainly relying on their visual abilities. Although they seem to have a functional sense of smell, whether their odour can convey social information has yet to be determined. Combining gas-chromatography-mass-spectrometry (GCMS) and microsatellite data, we tested whether chemical compounds from preen gland secretions can encode sex, age, individuality, seasonal differences and genetic relatedness in the gregarious accipitriform black kite Milvus migrans. While no... (More)

Evidence that bird odour can encode social information that can be used in chemical communication is growing, but is restricted to a few taxonomic groups. Among birds, diurnal raptors (i.e. birds from the Accipitriformes and Falconiformes order) have always been considered as mainly relying on their visual abilities. Although they seem to have a functional sense of smell, whether their odour can convey social information has yet to be determined. Combining gas-chromatography-mass-spectrometry (GCMS) and microsatellite data, we tested whether chemical compounds from preen gland secretions can encode sex, age, individuality, seasonal differences and genetic relatedness in the gregarious accipitriform black kite Milvus migrans. While no differences in preen oil composition were found between age classes, an individual signature was detected. While a seasonal variation was found in both sexes, compounds differ between sexes in the non-breeding season. Finally, a significant correlation between chemical proximity and genetic proximity was detected in male–male dyads and male–female dyads but not in female–female dyads. Our study provides the first evidence in raptors that preen secretion can convey information that may potentially be used in individual recognition, reproductive synchronization and inbreeding avoidance, and suggests that raptors may rely upon their olfactory abilities more than previously thought. This study opens promising avenues for further studies in raptor chemical communication.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
olfactory signature, preen oil, raptor
in
Journal of Avian Biology
volume
49
issue
7
publisher
Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
external identifiers
  • scopus:85050727141
ISSN
0908-8857
DOI
10.1111/jav.01728
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
147e90ce-2907-4ba2-a7ca-7923213952ca
date added to LUP
2018-09-07 14:58:06
date last changed
2019-02-20 11:26:05
@article{147e90ce-2907-4ba2-a7ca-7923213952ca,
  abstract     = {<p>Evidence that bird odour can encode social information that can be used in chemical communication is growing, but is restricted to a few taxonomic groups. Among birds, diurnal raptors (i.e. birds from the Accipitriformes and Falconiformes order) have always been considered as mainly relying on their visual abilities. Although they seem to have a functional sense of smell, whether their odour can convey social information has yet to be determined. Combining gas-chromatography-mass-spectrometry (GCMS) and microsatellite data, we tested whether chemical compounds from preen gland secretions can encode sex, age, individuality, seasonal differences and genetic relatedness in the gregarious accipitriform black kite Milvus migrans. While no differences in preen oil composition were found between age classes, an individual signature was detected. While a seasonal variation was found in both sexes, compounds differ between sexes in the non-breeding season. Finally, a significant correlation between chemical proximity and genetic proximity was detected in male–male dyads and male–female dyads but not in female–female dyads. Our study provides the first evidence in raptors that preen secretion can convey information that may potentially be used in individual recognition, reproductive synchronization and inbreeding avoidance, and suggests that raptors may rely upon their olfactory abilities more than previously thought. This study opens promising avenues for further studies in raptor chemical communication.</p>},
  articleno    = {e01728},
  author       = {Potier, Simon and Besnard, Malicia M. and Schikorski, David and Buatois, Bruno and Duriez, Olivier and Gabirot, Marianne and Leclaire, Sarah and Bonadonna, Francesco},
  issn         = {0908-8857},
  keyword      = {olfactory signature,preen oil,raptor},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {07},
  number       = {7},
  publisher    = {Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Avian Biology},
  title        = {Preen oil chemical composition encodes individuality, seasonal variation and kinship in black kites Milvus migrans},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jav.01728},
  volume       = {49},
  year         = {2018},
}