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Pheromones in the Animal Kingdom

We have seen hundreds of peacocks dancing with their beautiful wings wide open. It’s not just because it’s raining or the peacock is happy. he is actually trying to attract his mate for mating.

There are different kinds of actions, different ways of attraction in each kind of species to attract its mate. One such is pheromones. These are things that you cannot see, that you cannot feel, that you cannot smell. But yes; there presence adds substance to your life.

These pheromones are actually a special kind of chemical messengers emitted by any species that will cause reactions in another individual of the same species.

Scientists have extensively studied the existence of pheromones in insects, but higher organisms such as pigs and elephants may also emit pheromones. It is now known that human beings also emit pheromones, although this has not been scientifically proven. Over the past fifty decades, thousands of insects have been chemically elucidated for the structure, composition, function and capacity of these magical messengers.

ALARM PHEROMONES: Although there are many unanswered questions about pheromones, scientists have been able to prove their existence in lower organisms such as insects. For example, bees use isopentyl acetate as an alarm signal. “Guard Bees” will raise their abdomens and emit pheromones and these pheromones are transmitted by beating their wings faster and more continuously.

This will make the entire hive aware of the incoming threat. When a bee stings a target, these pheromones are deposited on the spot along with the venom which encourages other bees to attack the target by stinging the same spot. Since the pheromones used here are intended for alarm signals, they are generally called “alarm pheromones”.

TYPES OF PHEROMONES: Ants make extensive use of pheromones. When the ants return to their nest with the food, they leave a pheromone trail. This trail attracts and leads other ants to the food. By chance, if the train is interrupted in between, by a piece of chalk or some dust, etc., the ants will be completely confused. They start wandering randomly or go back in the opposite direction.

QUEEN BEE PHEROMONES: have you ever seen a “Queen Bee” in action?! No. He never does. Queen bees are always literally surrounded by a retinue of worker bees. This is mainly due to the pheromones emitted by the queens from their mandibular glands. These pheromones are actually a mixture of alcohols and organic acids. These pheromones will

– Motivate the worker bees to feed and care for the queen

– Stop worker bees from building royal cells and raising new queens

– Inhibits the development of ovaries in worker bees.

Apart from this, pheromones are also found in many other insects such as silkworm moths (from which they were first isolated), different species of spiders, millipedes, turnip moths, gypsies, Japanese beetles and a variety of parasitic and symbiotic beetles.

The complex but primitive single-celled amoeba Dictyostelium also uses a pheromone to attract others of its species and pursue reproduction.

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