Urine-Marking and Caching Behavior in the Wolf

In: Behaviour
Fred H. HarringtonDepartment of Psychology, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Search for other papers by Fred H. Harrington in
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



The relationship between urine-marking and caching was studied in two captive groups of wolves (Canis lupus). It was found that urine-marking never occurred when a cache was stocked, rarely occurred during later investigations if some food was still present, but usually occurred soon after the cache was emptied. The animal marking an empty cache was often not the one which had exploited it. Once an empty cache was marked it received little further attention, as opposed to caches that were empty but not urine-marked. These results suggest that urine-marking may enhance foraging efficiency in wolves by signalling that a site contains no more edible food despite the presence of lingering food odors.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 974 152 14
Full Text Views 188 12 0
PDF Views & Downloads 67 14 0