Attractivity Behaviour - Anatomy & Physiology

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Attractivity Behaviour Among Various Species

  • Behaviours and signals that serve to attract males.
  • Include:
    • Postures
    • Vocalizations
    • Behaviours
    • Chemical cues such as pheromones

Species Cow Mare Ewe Sow Bitch Queen
Attractivity Behaviour Increased Locomotion,Increased Vocalisation, Twitching and Elevation of Tail Increased Locomotion,Tail Erected ('Flagging') Short period of Restlessness,Ram Seeking Mild Restlessness Roaming Vocalisation ('Calling')



  • Secretions from the female reproductive tract that serve to sexually stimulate and attract males to the female.
  • Vaginal and urinary secretions from females in Oestrus smell different to the male then secretions of females not in Oestrus.
  • Pheromone is a volatile substance released to the outside of the body and perceived by the olfactory system and/or activated by the vomeronasal organ. Releasing pheromones can cause specific behaviour in the recipient.


  • Males also produce sex pheromones.
    • Boars produce specific substances that cause sows and guilts to become sexually aroused when they are in Oestrus.
    • Two sexual attractants are produced by boars:
      • Preputial pouch secretion
      • Pheromonal substance in saliva secreted by the submaxillary salivary gland.
        • During sexual excitement, the boar produces copious quantities of foamy saliva. The active components in saliva are the androgen metabolites 3α-Androstenol and 5α-Androstenone. Both have a musk-like odour.

Auditory Signals

  • In many species, sexual readiness is accompanied by some form of unique vocalization ('mating call').
    • Cows increase bellowing during Oestrus.
    • Sows display characteristic grunting associated with Oestrus.
    • Queens often 'yeow' repeatedly to call the tom.
    • Mares and Ewes are comparitively silent.
  • Elevated vocalization alerts/signals to males that sexual readiness is imminent.
  • Auditory stimulus is more useful in long-range stimulation than close discrimination.

Visual Signals

  • All females display a form of sexual posturing that can be perceived by males.
  • Can be subtle to human observers.
  • Identification of postures takes place easily among members of the same species.