The role of the vomeronasal system in food preferences of the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica
Mimi Halpern, Yasmine Daniels and Ido Zuri
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 450 Clarkson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11203 USA
Although feeding deficits have been reported in snakes and lizards following vomeronasal system disruption, no deficit has been previously reported in a mammal. We tested gray short-tailed opossums with items from four different food categories prior to occluding access to the vomeronasal organ. Preoperatively, opossums preferred meat to fruit or vegetables. Following occlusion of the nasopalatine canal, but not after control treatment, opossums failed to demonstrate food preferences.
Nutrition & Metabolism 2005, 2:6. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.