Sunday, May 10, 2015

Deer Rub-Urination

OK, this is a weird one, involving bodily fluids. You have been warned.

I just learned about something White-tailed Deer do to enhance their scent and communicate with each other. Deer have scent glands on their inner hind legs (among other places). To get these spots on their legs nice and stinky, deer will periodically do something called "rub-urination," where they pee on these spots and rub their legs together; the urine combines with bacteria and the glands' secretion to produce a strong odor that deer use to identify each other, display dominance, and so on. Apparently males rub-urinate especially frequently during breeding season, but both males and females do this throughout the year. (See this article for more information.)

How did I learn that deer have this behavior? Because a deer helpfully walked in front of my trail camera last week and demonstrated it. Animals are so weird and interesting!


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