Navigation Links
Why sticking around is sometimes the better choice
Date:3/27/2013

Researchers from Lund University, Yale University and the University of Oxford have been able to give an answer to why cuckolded males in many species still provide paternal care. When the conditions are right, this strategy is actually the most successful.

In many species males put a lot of effort into caring for offspring that are not their own. At first glance this makes no sense at all because natural selection should design males to only care for offspring that carry their genes. However, males are much more astute than we might think and maximise their care according to how likely it is that females are unfaithful whilst judging whether caring will reduce the number of offspring they can have in the future.

"These are complex calculations that males are making and it has been difficult to measure things correctly, but looking across species has helped us work out what is going on", says Charlie Cornwallis, researcher at the Department of Biology, Lund University, Sweden.

The researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 62 studies across 48 different species including insects, fish, birds and mammals. Although parental care is highly variable across these species, the researchers were able to explain why sticking around to care is the better choice for some males that have been usurped: Males tend to be more accepting of offspring fathered by other males in species where the risk of cuckoldry is generally low or caring does not harm their reproductive success.

"This to me shows the strength of natural selection, with its footprints clear in species as different as burying beetles, which care for young over a few weeks by regurgitating dead mice, to humans that spend years providing for their children", Cornwallis says.

The study opens up an interesting path to more research in the area. Now that the researchers know what factors are important they can design studies to further test their findings and predict what males will do in species that have not yet been studied.

"Our study includes data from all species looked at so far and so provides a future guide to the types of species and experimental cues that are best to examine when conducting more detailed studies of paternal care", Cornwallis says.


'/>"/>
Contact: Charlie Cornwallis
Charlie.Cornwallis@biol.lu.se
46-462-221-783
Lund University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New public gut bacteria study expected to reach around world
2. Are brown widows displacing black widow spiders around southern California homes?
3. New data suggests interferon-free therapy around the corner for HCV patients
4. New paper examines poison resistance in snakes around the world
5. Bird louse study shows how evolution sometimes repeats itself
6. Appetite genes are key to better diets for poultry, study shows
7. Astronomer gets grant to better measure mysterious black holes
8. Asterixs Roman foes -- Researchers have a better idea of how cancer cells move and grow
9. Better estrogen-testing methods needed to improve patient care
10. Omega-3s from fish vs. fish oil pills better at maintaining blood pressure in mouse model
11. Fat worms inch scientists toward better biofuel production
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... KEY FINDINGS The global market ... CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast period of 2017-2025. ... for the growth of the stem cell market. ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell market is segmented ... The stem cell market of the product is segmented ...
(Date:3/30/2017)...  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will host the ... hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, Washington ... developing health and wellness apps that provide a unique, ... is the first hackathon for personal genomics and ... in the genomics, tech and health industries are sending ...
(Date:3/29/2017)...  higi, the health IT company that operates the ... , today announced a Series B investment from ... The new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to ... population health activities through the collection and workflow integration ... collects and secures data today on behalf of over ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/18/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... July 18, 2017 , ... ... biosensors that accelerate pharmaceutical and biotherapeutics development, announces the launch of a new ... new biosensor chip enables researchers to study the kinetics of polyhistidine-tagged (His-tagged) molecules ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... G-CON today announced ... Trademark Office for its Patent Applications 14/858,857 and 13/669,785 both entitled Modular, Self-Contained, ... applications further expand the protection of G-CON’s R&D investments and validate the G-CON ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... ... Software ( https://dataformsoftware.com ) announces the migration of its flagship cloud-based product Planet ... is a team-centric, enterprise work management system that merges strategic and financial planning ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... July 17, 2017 , ... Bioclinica®, ... company AB Cube has joined its eHealth App xChange ™, an ... across life sciences and healthcare. Under the partnership, AB Cube’s comprehensive, cloud-based ...
Breaking Biology Technology: