Name: jessy tardon
Date: Around 1993
What are pheromones?
Pheromones are chemicals which some species produce to attract
mates. They are "hormones" in the sense that they have a direct physiological
effect on the individual who receives them. I suppose a very loose analogy
would be like using perfume and other fragrances to provide an attractive
scent. But of course, we do not physical produce the perfume. And in those
species which do, the "perfume" is called a pheromone.
Pheromones are defined as being chemicals that act like hormones,
except that they communicate between individuals, rather than within a single
individual. They are used as mate attractants, territorial markers, or alarm
substances to communicate the existence of a threat to other members of a
group. There is some evidence of the existence of pheromones in humans. One
of the most spectacular examples is the pheromone released by the female gypsy
moth to attract the male. He flies into the plume of pheromone she releases.
He can detect 1 molecule of pheromone out of 100,000,000,000,000 other
molecules in the air! Scientists are very interested in how pheromones have
their effects on the animal that receives them.
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Update: June 2012