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Feromones: el paper de l'olor en la comunicació animal
Rodríguez Teijeiro, José Domingo; García Galea, E.; Vinyoles Cartanyà, Dolors
Universitat de Barcelona
Chemical perception is considered one of the first senses used as a communication system between living organisms. Such communication is based on the emission of signals between a sender and a receiver; if the communication is chemical, these signals are called pheromones. These signals have evolved via natural selection through a mechanism known as ritualization, which converts cues (which are not adapted to communication and which the receiver picks up regardless of the interests of the sender) into signals (information that the sender transmits as an adaptative response to its previously developed perception of the receiver). When communication has evolved between actors (sender and receiver) with common interests, the honesty of the signal is taken for granted, since both want the same thing (i.e., there is no reason to deceive). If the actors have conflicting interests, however, then the possibility of deception seeps into the possible array of adaptations. This can be observed in the case of communicative mimicry. However, in other situations natural selection imposes conditions that screen the possible signals, allowing only those that meet the requirement of honesty to stabilize. These include indices and added-cost signals. The emission of pheromones plays a variety of roles in the life processes of living beings. It facilitates encounters between individuals of the same species and is heavily involved in the mechanisms of recognition of relatives. It also fosters behaviours such as altruism (cooperation between individuals that share a percentage of their genetic inheritance). In many species, including humans, chemical communication works behind the scenes to guide the choice of a sexual partner.
Comunicació animal
Animal communication
(c) Rodríguez Teijeiro, José Domingo et al., 2012
Secció de Ciències Naturals del Museu de Mataró

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