MSU Researchers find birds odor is key to mating and communication

Michigan
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Michigan State University researchers found that bird bacteria impacts the ability for the animals to communicate or find a mate.

Birds use odor to identify other birds. The researchers discovered that scents emitted by songbirds are produced by certain bacteria in preen glands.

“This is the same process as in humans. We each have bacteria on our bodies that create smells like armpit odor that is unique to each person,” said Danielle Whittaker, lead author and managing director of the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action.

Birds communicate with odors to determine the stage of reproduction process, quality or hormonal state of a potential mate.

The results have been published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

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