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Individual body odour plays an important role in partner selection. Humans, mice, fish and birds, and probably other vertebrates too, receive important information about a potential partner's immune system from their body odour. A partner is chosen on the bases of whether he or she offers the optimum complement to the individual's own immune genes. The aim is to pass on a wide variety of immune genes to the offspring so that they are resistant to a broad spectrum of pathogens.
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