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Mothers give interloper's offspring a head start in life
Date:5/14/2009

or gets stored in a more advantageous position within the female's reproductive tract such as closer to the site of fertilization.

"The differential success of sperm from different males is a fascinating possibility but remains untested in wild birds."

While the study suggests that the superior performance of extra-pair chicks has more to do with good fortune than good genes, the team still don't discount the possibility that females mate with extra-pair males to improve the genetic quality of their offspring.

"Genetically determined advantages may become most evident in later life, such as living longer or having greater mating success. And if this is the case, then placing extra-pair offspring early in the laying order may be the mother's strategy to promote their chances of survival through the most risky period of their life".


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Contact: Nerissa Hannink
nhannink@unimelb.edu.au
61-383-448-151
University of Melbourne
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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