Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Period in the reproductive cycle of all female mammals, with the exception of humans and orangutans, when they are at their maximum sexual receptivity. Adjective: estrous. During estrus the ova (eggs) are released in the female. Estrus is distinguished by resorption of the nonpregnant endometrial lining, rather than its expulsion, as in menstruation. Also spelled oestrus.

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