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...

    Energy pyramid
    Freshwater Community Energy Relationships – Producers & Consumers

    This tutorial looks at the relationship between organisms. It also explores how energy is passed on in the food chain an..

    Physiological Homeostasis
    Physiological Homeostasis

    Homeostasis is essential to maintain conditions within the tolerable limits. Otherwise, the body will fail to function p..

    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..

    Cell Biology
    Cell Biology

    The cell is defined as the fundamental, functional unit of life. Some organisms are comprised of only one cell whereas o..

    Plant biology
    Plant Biology

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

    Biosecurity and Biocontrol
    Biosecurity and Biocontrol

    This lesson explores the impact of biosecurity threats, and why they need to be identified and managed. Examples to incl..