The Web of Life (12-2-4) Status Sniff

 Status Sniff

Many mammals, including dogs, rats, and cats, sniff each other out when they meet. For rodents at least, sniffing intensity signals social status.

Subordinates stifle sniffing in the face of a dominant rodent or risk its wrath. Snuffing sniffing is an appeasement signal. Such sniffing has nothing to do with smell. Instead, the behavior itself signals subordination.