Dictionary > Oestrus

Oestrus

Definition
noun
A phase in the sexual cycle of female animals characterized by their sexual receptiveness or their willingness for a coitus
oestrual
Of or pertaining to sexual desire; mostly applied to brute animals; as, the oestrual period, oestrual influence
Supplement
Oestrus is a phase in the sexual cycle (i.e. oestrous cycle) of female animals. It is characterized by sexual receptiveness in females. Females are said to be in heat during this phase. Other cues include a bloody vaginal discharge. Physiologically, the phase is regulated by gonadotropic hormones. When the ovarian follicles mature, estrogen is secreted. They then display behavioural manifestations indicating their sexual receptiveness.1
Oestrus begins following sexual maturity, and is interrupted by pregnancies and anestrous phases. Anestrous phase pertains to that period when the sexual cycle rests. Melatonin released from the pineal gland regulates reproduction. One of the factors controlling the release of melatonin is light exposure.
Word origin: Greek oîstros (mad desire)
Variant(s):

  • estrus

Synonym(s):

  • estrum
  • heat (2)
  • See also:

    Related term:

  • oestrous cycle
  • Reference(s):

    1 Miller, G., Tybur, J. M., and Jordan, B. D. (2007). Evolution and Human Behavior. Ovulatory cycle effects on tip earnings by lap dancers: economic evidence for human estrus? Evolution and Human Behavior 28(6): 375–381.


    You will also like...

    Young plant growing from the soil.
    Soils

    Nutrients in the soil are essential to the proper growth of a land plant. This tutorial deals with the properties of soi..

    An artist depiction of a Precambrian multicellular life form.
    The Evolution of Cell Organelles

    The nucleus containing the genetic material, DNA, and the mitochondria, well-identified as the "powerhouse of the cell",..

    Plant biology
    Plant Biology

    Plantlife can be studied at a variety of levels, from the molecular, genetic and biochemical level through organelles, c..

    Peppered moth ("Biston betularia") melanic and light form
    Examples of Natural Selection

    Darwin's Finches are an example of natural selection in action. They are an excellent example of the way species' gene p..

    Principles of Hormonal Control Systems
    Principles of Hormonal Control Systems

    Hormones are essential in the regulation of the activity of the various biological systems of the human body. The ineffi..

    Genetic Mutations
    Chromosome Mutations – II

    This tutorial is a continuation of the first lesson on chromosomal mutation. Here, find out the chromosomal aberrations ..