Investigate - Facial

Overview and Meaning

After the actor mouse has attended and approached the recipient mouse, it will begin investigating the recipient's body. The facial area is usually not the first and only place the actor mouse explores. Generally, the actor mouse begins in a less intrusive area like the body trunk, before moving onto a more threatening region like the facial area. Facial investigation is sometimes referred to as "nosing," because the actor's and the recipient's noses are in close contact during this stage of the sequence.

Facial investigation serves to transfer information carried on the breath of the recipient mouse. The clearest example of which, is the odor of recent eaten foods. Mice use this information to assess the safety of foods they have not encountered themselves


Investigation of the general facial area only, where the actor's and recipient's noses are in close contact.


Exploration, Variant of Investigate




Facial investigation may occur in three different postures:

  1. Upright. The mouse rears up on its hind legs.
  2. Oblique. The mouse has its forebody off the floor and it is sitting up, resting on its haunches.
  3. Sideways. The mouse has all four paws on the cage floor.