ARE SEX-PHEROMONES INVOLVED IN MOOSE BREEDING BEHAVIOR
Evidence is presented that saliva of bull moose (Alces alces gigas) contains 16-unsaturated C19 steroids. These pheromones have been identified in red deer (Cervus elaphus hippelaphus) and wild boar (Sus scrofa) and operate in the later as a potent primer simulating estrus and copulation readiness of the sow. Saliva samples collected from mature bull moose contained a mean concentration of 0.48 ng/ml (n = 15, SD = 0.17) of 5α-androst-16-en-3-one. Using thinlayer-chromatography, the musk-scent components were identified as 5α-androst-15-en-3α-ol (3.5 ng/ml) and 5α-androst-16-en-3β-ol (3.5 ng/ml). Bull moose produce signalling pheromones in concentrations 10-20 times lower than those of the boar. Additional research is required to determine the role of these compounds in rut synchronization and induced estrus.
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