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Seasonal variations in general activity, behaviour and cutaneous glandular structures in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus L.)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology.
1980 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The locomotor activity of the reindeer is separated into a diurnal and a nocturnal phase which, in turn, consists of a  number of short-term activity bursts. The onset and termination  of diurnal and nocturnal activity are largely in synchrony  with sunrise and sunset. Since the diurnal phase is  longer, total activity is dependent on the photoperiod. Total  activity as well as the number of activity bursts is greater  in Jùne with continuous daylight than in December with 6  hours daylight. In winter, reindeer spent less time feeding  but more time ruminating and resting *than in summer. Synchronization  between individuals was also greatest in winter. It  is concluded that the described changes in the activity  pattern are due to an endogenous component and that this component  further controls food consumption and energy balance  of the reindeer.  Seasonal variations in behavioural patterns are described.  Several specific rutting behavioürs, sexual and agonostic,  emerge in the male during the prerut and persist until after  the rut. The preorbital gland is enlarged and secretory activity  is evident. The rut is cha'tabterized by the sudden appearance  of an odour in the breath of mature males followed a few  later by a strong odour in the urine. These odours persist for  a short time during the most intense period of rut. The amount  of androgen rizes sharply and reaches peak concentrations in  late September - early October, decreasing thereafter. The  described behavioural cues occur with a certain constancy in  time in concecutive seasons.  A quantification of the amounts of secretory epithelia in preorbital,  interdigital, caudal and tarsal glands reveals that  only the preorbital gland is subjected to any seasonal and  sexual variation. The apocrine epithelium in this gland is  most developed in mature males during the rutting season and  seems to be dependent upon the presence of an elevated androgen  concentration. The tarsal gland is the least developed  gland while the interdigital and caudal glands are more welldeveloped  and structurally complex. Scattered apocrine glands  are only developed on the legs, the ventral body, oral angle  and in the rump patch.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1980. , 25 p.
Keyword [en]
Androgen, Cervidae, dermal glands, locomotor activity olfactory communicatiorL pheromones, photoperiod, rein deer, rut, seasonal variations
National Category
Ecology Behavioral Sciences Biology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-131526OAI: diva2:1074774
Available from: 2017-02-16 Created: 2017-02-16 Last updated: 2017-02-16Bibliographically approved

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