Dictionary > Flehmen response

Flehmen response

Definition
noun
A behavior in certain animals wherein the animal curls back the upper lip thereby exposing the front teeth, to facilitate the transfer of scents and pheromones into the vomeronasal organ above the roof of the mouth via a duct
Supplement
The flehmen response is an animal behavior in which the animal curls back the upper lip. This exposes the front teeth and gums of the animal. This is actually a means through which the pheromones and certain scents are transferred into the vomeronasal organ. The vomeronasal organ is an auxiliary olfactory organ located above the roof of the mouth via a duct, behind the front teeth of the animal. It is found in certain animals such as snakes, lizards, and many mammals (e.g. mice, rats, elephants, cattle, dogs, cats, goats, and pigs). These animals perform the flehmen response to investigate a source of scent of particular interest. When these animals carry out such behavior it seems that they are laughing or smirking.
The flehmen response is essential in identifying reproductive status of a potential mate. Some animals, such as goats, perform this behavior as a response to the smelling of urine, including those from other species.
Word origin: German flehmen (“to bare the upper teeth”)
Variant(s):

  • flehmen position
  • flehmen reaction
  • flehming
  • flehmening

See also:

  • vomeronasal organ
  • pheromone


  • You will also like...

    Crossing Over and Genetic Diversity
    Inheritance and Probability

    Gregor Mendel, an Austrian monk, is most famous in this field for his study of the phenotype of pea plants, including ..

    Independent Assortment and Crossing Over
    Independent Assortment and Crossing Over

    This tutorial describes the independent assortment of chromosomes and crossing over as important events in meiosis. Read..

    human brain structure
    The Conscious & Unconscious Nervous System

    This tutorial elaborates on how the nervous system works, particularly at the tissue level of the brain. There are three..

    mRNA
    Protein Synthesis

    Part of the genetic information is devoted to the synthesis of proteins. mRNA, a type of RNA, is produced as a transcri..

    Consciousness and behavior
    Consciousness and Behavior

    Human consciousness and behavior are an interesting topic since they are determined and controlled by the brain. Conscio..

    Plant Water Regulation
    Plant Water Regulation

    Plants need to regulate water in order to stay upright and structurally stable. Find out the different evolutionary adap..

    Related Articles...

    No related articles found

    See all Related Topics