[In Our Time] Pheromones

Pheromones

21/02/2019 by BBC Radio 4

Web player: http://podplayer.net/?id=64055489
Episode: http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download/proto/http/vpid/p071jzyp.mp3

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss how members of the same species send each other invisible chemical signals to influence the way they behave. Pheromones are used by species across the animal kingdom in a variety of ways, such as laying trails to be followed, to raise the alarm, to scatter from predators, to signal dominance and to enhance attractiveness and, in honey bees, even direct development into queen or worker.

The image above is of male and female ladybirds that have clustered together in response to pheromones.

With

Tristram Wyatt
Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford

Jane Hurst
William Prescott Professor of Animal Science at the University of Liverpool

and

Francis Ratnieks
Professor of Apiculture and Head of the Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects at the University of Sussex

Producer: Simon Tillotson

Start Date: 2018-03-25

Finish Date: 2018-03-26

Notes:

  • Darcin! Ha ha ha.
  • I hadn’t known until this episode that pheromones are defined by function, and not by chemical structure; and that everything can be a pheromone.
  • The exception to the rule – predators or competitors eavesdropping on prey pheromones to see what was going on was amazing.
  • The distinction between the two types of nasal systems / senses of smell is well worth reading further upon.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s