how one animal sniffs another greatly matters within their social network

– Sniffing, a common behavior in dogs, cats and other animals, has been observed to also serve as a method for rats to communicate—

animals vigorously sniff when they interact, a habit usually passed off as simply smelling each other.

rats sniff each other to signal a social hierarchy and prevent aggressive behavior

rodents naturally form complex social hierarchies

when two rats approach each other, one communicates dominance by sniffing more frequently, while the subordinate signals its role by sniffing less

if the subordinate didn’t do so, the dominant rat was more likely to become aggressive to the other.

the dominant rat was displaying a “conflict avoidance signal,” similar to a large monkey walking into a room and banging its chest. In response, the subordinate animal might cower and look away, or in the case of the rats, decrease its sniffing

how one animal sniffs another greatly matters within their social network

Source:
http://www.case.edu/medicus/breakingnews/newanimalcommunication.html

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