Secondhand horror: Indirect predator odor triggers reproductive changes in bank voles

Marko Haapakoski (left) and Thorbjörn Sievert. Photo Credit: University of Jyväskylä

By University of Jyväskylä

Reproducing in a fearful world is tricky. How do rodents get information of prevailing risk of death, and how do they respond to the information? A research team of evolutionary biologists from University of Jyväskylä, Finland and University of Vienna, Austria reported that rodent mothers are more likely to become pregnant after smelling odors produced by conspecific males frightened by predators. The study was published on 7th of June 2019 in the open access journal Ecosphere.

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