Pheromones are a hot topic. But as zoologist Tristram Wyatt argues, we’re not even sure that humans have them. Meanwhile, scientists have been studying these chemical signals for years in the animal kingdom -- and made some extremely weird observations.Continue reading
Why you should listen
Tristram Wyatt wants to understand the messages that animals send with their smell. At Oxford, he researches the intersection of pheromone evolution and animal behavior, particularly in mammals. He's interested in the distinction between pheromones, the chemical signals a species produces, and each individual's signature mixture of distinct molecules. The zoologist has discovered some surprising biological coincidences along the way — like the fact that Asian elephants have the same female sex pheromones as 140 species of moths.
Wyatt is the author of Pheromones and Animal Behavior.