Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Chemical substance, usually a glandular secretion, that is used in communication between members of a species (see conspecific). One individual releases the substance as a signal and another or others respond after tasting or smelling it. Because of the historical separation of humans from other animals, the human literature tends to ignore or deny that there are human pheromones. The term is also not usually applied to primates, although it is clear that many (especially prosimians and callitrichids) secrete pheromone-like substances.

See primer pheromone and releaser pheromone.

Cf. hormone.

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