Maressa Takahashi L&S Sciences
Use of chemical olfactory cues in colonial tuco-tucos, Ctenomys sociabilis
I work in Professor Eileen Laceys lab with a colony of tuco-tucos, which are subterranean rodents in the family Ctenomyidae. Although there are more than 50 species of tuco-tucos in South America, the species I am studying is unique in that they live in groups and related females share a single burrow system. As a result, social relationships between females are very important in this species. I am studying chemical communication between females. Specifically, I am testing the hypothesis that olfactory cues in urine may serve as indicators of individual identity. The results of my work may yield new insights into the role of olfactory communication in the social structure of this unusual species.