What hormone is responsible for keeping prairie vole pairs attached at the hip?
Answer: B. Oxytocin.
The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) has become the poster animal for monogamy. These small rodents, which occupy the grasslands of Canada, create an unbreakable bond with one mate and are often attached at the hip until one or the other dies. Many scientists, hoping to learn the secret to monogamy, have studied these mammals and found the chemical oxytocin to be the key to it all. A dose of oxytocin can be sparked through intimate moments — touching, caressing and, of course, making whoopee — and ramps up the bonding process between two mammals. The end result? A stable, long-lasting partnership.
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