About the Author

Robert Ball

Contributor

Robbie developed a passion for the African bush from many visits to his family’s small holding in a greater conservancy just outside Johannesburg. Living in the big city his whole life, he always found refuge in the outdoors and has grown to appreciate ...

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36 Comments

on How and Why Predators Scent Mark

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Vin Beni
Guest contributor

Great information, Robert! Quite fascinating and intricate.

Robert Ball
Contributor

Thank you, Vin. I’m glad you enjoyed the read!

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Hello Patrick, I appreciate a lot this topic as I am an ethologist myself… how alike all big and small cats are in their scent-marking habits! The pictures are gorgeous, it’s always wonderful to be updated about these majestic animals, I look forward to hearing more about the Mashaba female, it’s always nice to see the legendary Majingilane males images

Robert Ball
Contributor

Ethology is such a large field of study and i find myself continually learning! I’m glad you enjoyed the read, Francesca.

Cyndy Beardsley
Digital Ranger

Thank you for posting – so interesting – my cat does that flehmen grimace some times and I never knew what it was about.

Robert Ball
Contributor

You’re welcome, Cyndy. I’m glad you learnt something new!

William Paynter
Master Tracker

Communication, one of the keys to life, thanks Robert.

Robert Ball
Contributor

You’re welcome, William!

Irene Henkes
Digital Tracker

Indeed she is!!

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Robbie, Thanks for sharing this educational piece. You did a great job of explaining scent-marking in a way that makes sense. It is something we have seen (and smelled) many times on game drives and we are glad you put some of our questions to rest!

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Fantastic informational report Robert. This was the most concise explanation of predator scent marking I’ve read to date. Thank you!

Robert Ball
Contributor

You’re welcome, Denise. I’m glad you enjoyed the read!

Robert Ball
Contributor

I’m glad that I could be of assistance in that regard, you are welcome!

Camille Koertner
Senior Digital Ranger

Robbie. As a now retired dental hygienist I found this blog very interesting especially considering that scent marking processing is so oral. I knew of the Flehmen Grimace of course, but had no idea of the Organ of Jacobson! And then to learn that all of this analyzing can last for weeks. I must add that the Majingilane lion pictured is missing his maxillary right central incisor!!! Lol

Robert Ball
Contributor

Well noticed, Camille! I’m glad you found the blog interesting.

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

Very interesting article and beautiful photos. Thanks!

Robert Ball
Contributor

You’re welcome, Christa!

Valmai Vorster
Master Tracker

An amazing story Robert and thanks for giving us more facts about the animals that scent mark and how they do it. It is truly interesting to see them do this and to note how they respond to the scent that have picked up and to see how they respond. Beautiful foto’s and it is amazing how different animals react to new scent markings.

Robert Ball
Contributor

It is one of the most interesting areas of study in Ethology, I’m glad you found it interesting Valmai.

Bob and Lucie Fjeldstad
Guest contributor

Very interesting subject Robert. We look forward to more such unusual discussions that help us understand the animal world!

Robert Ball
Contributor

I’m glad you enjoyed and learnt from the article! We are always learning from the animal world, there is still so much we don’t know!

Johanna Browne
Senior Digital Ranger

Good blog piece. I wasn’t aware that cats have scent glands between their toes! I know they ‘scratch’ in order to stretch their muscles so this was cool information. As far as communication, you have one of the best animal communicators there in S.A. Yes, humans can communicate with animals and if your childhood dream is still desired you might invite Anna Breytenbach to Londolozi or read other communicators books such as Wynter Worsthorne (SA) Penelope Smith, Sonja Fitzpatrick or books.

Robert Ball
Contributor

Thank you for letting me know, Johanna. I appreciate it!

Karen Taylor
Explorer

Thank you for such an informative article, so interesting.

Robert Ball
Contributor

You’re welcome, Karen!

Leonie De Young
Master Tracker

A really interesting blog Robert – learned a lot from reading it. Thanks for sharing with us. Mother Nature is really very interesting indeed.

Robert Ball
Contributor

I’m glad you enjoyed the read, Leonie. You are welcome!

Wendy Macnicol
Digital Tracker

Very interesting facts here about message sending among animals, Robbie. It is quite amazing the lengths they go to do this. Thank you for the info. Wendy M

Robert Ball
Contributor

You’re welcome Wendy, I’m glad you found the blog interesting!

Cally Staniland
Master Tracker

Such an interesting article Robert…I was aware of some of the facts but certainly didn’t know that they can actually tell who’s who and what the others plans are, from these scent markings. Amazing. Thanks ‼️❤️

Robert Ball
Contributor

You’re welcome, Cally. I’m glad you found the article informative!

Carly M
Senior Digital Ranger

Fascinating!

Barbara Wallace
Senior Digital Ranger

Intriguing information!! Thank you very much.

Robert Ball
Contributor

You’re welcome, Barbara!

Lisa Antell
Master Tracker

The more you observe and understand the various forms of animal communication, the more fascinating it is!!

Robert Ball
Contributor

Well said, Lisa! You’re spot on.

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