Click on the image to view larger
In the flehmen response, tigers draw back their lips in a manner that makes them appear to be “grimacing” or “smirking”. The action, which is adopted when examining scents left by other animals either of the same species or of prey, helps expose the vomeronasal organ (also called the Jacobson’s organ) and draws scent molecules back toward it. This behavior allows animals to detect scents, for example from urine, of other members of their species or clues to the presence of prey. Flehming allows the animals to determine several factors, including the presence or absence of estrus, the physiological state of the animal, and how long ago the animal passed by.
This adult female tiger appeared near the gate of the Ranthambore National Park, one very hot April afternoon.
Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris), Ranthambore National Park, India, Asia
Nikon D200, Nikkor 80-400 mm at 400 mm, 1/250 sec at f/ 5.6, ISO 280
© Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos Photography. All Rights Reserved.
Featured in the group “Absolute Clarity”
Views 450 by April 12, 2013