Navigation Links
Parents' social problems affect their children -- even in birds
Date:12/27/2010

It may come as a surprise to many that quails are able to distinguish one another, let alone that they form close relationships with other quails. Nevertheless, it has long been known that disruption of the birds' social environment causes them stress. A group within the UMR 6552 at the CNRS-Universit de Rennes 1 in France has been studying the influence of adults on the behavioural development of their offspring. Together with scientists in Austria, they have now shown that changing the composition of groups of quails housed together causes the birds to behave more aggressively towards one another. In parallel, the level of steroid hormones (corticosterone) in their blood increases when their group composition is disrupted.

Intriguingly, the eggs they lay were found to have significantly higher levels of testosterone when the mothers were subjected to social stress of this kind. The results are consistent with previous findings from other groups, which showed that House sparrows, American coots and Common starlings lay eggs with more testosterone when they breed in dense colonies than when they nest in isolation. But the new work from the French-Austrian collaboration goes considerably further, showing that the eggs of females under social stress hatch later and the chicks grow more slowly after hatching, at least for the first three weeks. There are also indications that the chicks' behave differently: they are more cautious and seem more susceptible to disturbance. Furthermore, they tend to move about more, which can be interpreted as increased attempts to escape from threats or to seek more social contact.

The results show how much the growth and behaviour of chicks is influenced by the concentrations of steroid hormones in the eggs from which they hatched. As Mstl says, "We know that stress on female mammals influences the development of their young, which takes place in the womb, but it was a big surprise that social stress causes such changes in the level of hormones in the yolks of birds' eggs." The social environment of mother quails thus has a direct effect on the growth and the behaviour of their offspring. It seems, then, that pre-natal nurture is extremely important in birds as well as in mammals and this finding is sure to add fresh fuel to the century-old nature versus nurture debate.


'/>"/>

Contact: Prof Erich Moestl
erich.moestl@vetmeduni.ac.at
43-650-725-0950
University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study recommends that parents, physicians share decisions in sex development disorder surgery
2. Penguin males with steady pitch make better parents
3. Doctors can influence when parents wean children from bottle, study finds
4. UNC study: Color-coded chart improves parents understanding of body mass index
5. Work conditions impact parents food choices
6. Social stress leads to atherosclerosis
7. Psychologists identify influence of social interaction on sensitivity to physical pain
8. Family ties bind desert lizards in social groups
9. Social support post-cancer lacking among minority women
10. Social ecology: Lost and found in psychological science
11. Engineering textbook promotes social justice
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/14/2017)... -- Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center today announced Julie Ann Freischlag, ... (CEO). Freischlag joins the medical center on May 1 ... who last year announced that he would transition to ... it since 2008.   As CEO, Freischlag ... academic health system, which includes Wake Forest School of ...
(Date:2/10/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... and Commercial Aspects" to their offering. ... Biomarkers play an ... for selection of treatment as well for monitoring the results. ... in modern medicine. Biochip/microarray technologies and next generation sequencing are ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ), a leading supplier of ... quarter and year ended December 31, 2016. ... compared to $6.9 million in the same quarter last year. ... million compared to $2.6 million in the fourth quarter of ... $0.5 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, which compares to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... Aviva Systems Biology Corporation (ASB) which ... GenWay Biotech Incorporated, a protein solutions and applications ... for both the research and diagnostic markets. ... capabilities for both entities. GenWay,s 18 years of experience ... complement ASB,s objective to become a leading provider ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Kan. , Feb. 22, 2017  Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. ... development and commercialization of innovative biopharmaceutical products for companion animals, ... 2017 at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss financial results from ... Interested participants and investors may access the ... ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Feb. 22, 2017  PrimeVax Immuno-Oncology, Inc. announced today ... at the Annual Biocom Global Life Science Partnering Conference.  ... 11:15 AM, at the Torrey Pines Lodge, in San ... organizers at Biocom who have chosen our company, amongst ... biotechnology companies, investors, and clinical researchers," said Mr. Chen. ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... ProMIS Neurosciences ... treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced it has issued a scientific white paper ... one of a series of commentaries from ProMIS’s scientific team offering insight into ...
Breaking Biology Technology: