During recent years our knowledge on the behavioral biology of primates has advanced considerably. Experimental studies on primates in the laboratory, as well as ﬁeld research on many species, have provided insight into reproductive behavior, social behavior, and communication. It is characteristic of the communication systems of higher primates that they are multimodular. They rely on olfactory, vocal, tactile and visual signals. However, little is known about the role of the chemical senses in primate communication
Pheromone Signals in Primates
In addition, visual and vocal patterns obviously are more noticeable to the human observer. And humans are anatomically better equipped and maybe mentally more prepared to see a display or hear a call than to smell an odor. Thus, pheromone communication has often been considered of minor importance. And much more attention has been paid to visual and vocal patterns.
Evidence for Primate and Human Pheromones
This article will mainly deal with the discussion of behavioral patterns from pheromones. I will infer the occurrence and function of pheromones when possible. As is to be expected on the basis of our very limited knowledge, a discussion of the biological role of primate pheromones will include some speculations. They might very well prove to be entirely untrue as research in this area progresses. However, they are presented here, not only in an attempt to tie our present knowledge together but also in order to stimulate more experimental studies in this field. This is not only interesting and rewarding but also of importance for a better understanding of the biology of our own species. Pheromone research is expanding.