Navigation Links
Sexy sons thanks to mom
Date:9/29/2011

This press release is available in German.

In Zebra Finches, as in most other bird species, both parents contribute to offspring rearing. The social partner of a female, however, is not always the biological father of the young. If the opportunity arises, females will choose to pair with partners other than their primary mate with the interesting result that the offspring of different fathers have different qualities. And, as evolutionary ecologists from the University of Zurich and biologists from Macquarie University in Sydney have discovered, offspring sired by an extra-pair partner develop larger color ornaments and are more attractive to females than their social half-brothers.

Extra-pair males are not more attractive

Up to now, the quality differences between social and extra-pair offspring have generally been assumed to reflect the genetic superiority of the extra-pair male. Indeed, females are believed to engage in extra-pair copulation with genetically superior males to obtain better genes for their offspring. Now, Barbara Tschirren, professor for evolutionary ecology at the University of Zurich, and her team have challenged the idea of the exceptional male. In a study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society the researchers demonstrate that -- despite the observed quality differences -- the fathers of attractive sons are neither better looking nor genetically superior.

The first eggs receive preferential treatment

According to the study, attractive sons are not the result of exceptional genes; rather, their enhanced ornamentation is due to the mother's investment in the eggs. Tschirren was able to demonstrate that maternal resource investment decreases steadily over the course of the laying sequence of a Zebra Finch, with eggs laid early in a clutch being larger and containing more nutrients and hormones. Favoring early eggs and the first hatchlings is a worthwhile investment for the mother as these offspring have a demonstrably higher chance of survival. "It appears that there is strong competition among males to fertilize these valuable eggs early in a female's laying sequence," explains lead author Barbara Tschirren. "They try to exploit the female's egg investment bias to ensure a head start for their own offspring." She hypothesizes that sperm competition might decide the battle, with males with faster sperm being able to fertilize the most valuable eggs.


'/>"/>

Contact: Professor Dr. Barbara Tschirren
barbara.tschirren@ieu.uzh.ch
41-446-354-777
University of Zurich
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Favorite Thanksgiving dish gets upscale breeding
2. Living longer thanks to the longevity gene
3. Internationally acclaimed researcher joins UH faculty thanks to $5.5 million grant
4. Scientists closer to making implantable bone material, thanks to new research
5. Corrective genes closer thanks to enzyme modification
6. Scary ancient spiders revealed in 3-D models, thanks to new imaging technique
7. Blind mice can see thanks to special retinal cells
8. Caveman behavioral traits might kick in at Thanksgiving table before eating
9. Eating low-fat, thanks to lupin proteins
10. Shellfish safer to eat thanks to breakthrough by Queens scientists
11. New markers for allergic disorders thanks to analysis of medical databases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Sexy sons thanks to mom
(Date:6/2/2016)... The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: IBM ... which consumers will be able to interact with IBM Watson ... or text and receive relevant information about the product or ... long sought an advertising solution that can create a one-to-one ... valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions and touchpoints. ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited ... with VoicePass. By working together, VoiceIt ...  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different approaches ... increases both security and usability. ... about this new partnership. "This marketing ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of ... MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a ... projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple complex biometric ... combination of fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It ... and MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Cancer experts from Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, and ... new and helpful biomarker for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just published ... , Biomarkers are components in the blood, tissue or body fluids that ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... of a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University ... (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The funding will be ... correlate with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing ... then be employed to support the design of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial ... Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more ... the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical ... novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. ... of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. ... designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting ...
Breaking Biology Technology: