“It is a truth universally acknowledged that the single mouse in possession of Darcin must be in want of a mate”.
Rather wittily Jane Hurst, an animal behaviourist particularly interested in house mice, borrowed the opening sentence from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”.
And had Mrs Bennet been a giant mouse, she would have realised it’s not money that makes the world spin round but a sex pheromone: darcin or major urinary protein 20.
Discovered and named by Hurst after the irresistibly wealthy and very single Mr Darcy, darcin doesn’t waft along on the breeze like a whiff of cologne but is released by male mice into their urine and deposited at special marking posts.
Sniffing up the pheromone, lonely female mice are driven totally wild with desire, leaving scent markings of their own before- and I just love this- beginning to sing!
So, if music be the food of love- play on!