Kimura, R. 2001. Volatile substances in feces, urine and urine-marked feces of feral horses. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 81: 411-420.
Abstract: “The identity and amount of volatile substances in the feces, urine and feces scent-marked with urine (i.e., feces mixed with urine) of feral horses was determined by acid/steam distillation and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The frequency of excretion and scent marking, as evaluated in the breeding and non-breeding seasons, showed clear evidence of seasonal behavioral differences. The concentration of each substance (fatty acids, alcohols, aldehydes, phenols, amines and alkanes) in the feces differed according to maturity, sex and stage in the reproductive process. They had a characteristic chemical fingerprint. Although the levels of tetradecanoic and hexadecanoic acids in the feces of estrous mares were significantly higher than the respective levels in the feces of non-estrous mares, in the case of sent-marked feces by stallions, the levels of them in the feces from estrous mares had decreased to levels similar to those in non-estrous mares. The concentration of these substances in mares were not significantly different. The presence of a high concentration of cresols in the urine of stallions in the breeding season suggests that one role of scent marking by stallions is masking the odor of the feces produced by mares.”