Navigation Links
Hyena mothers give their cubs a helpful dose of hormones

Scientists have discovered that a dominant hyena puts her cubs on the road to success before they are born by passing on high levels of certain hormones that make her budding young leaders more aggressive and sexually advanced.

The report, published in the April 27 issue of Nature, is the first study in mammals to demonstrate a relationship between a female's social rank and her ability to influence her offspring's behavior through prenatal hormone transfer. Previously, this phenomenon had only been documented in birds.

Michigan State University's Kay Holekamp, together with her colleagues, spent almost 10 years sampling androgen levels from free-ranging hyenas in Kenya. Androgens are hormones, such as testosterone, that control development of typically masculine characteristics like aggression, muscle development and sexual behavior.

The team found that alpha females had higher androgen levels late in pregnancy when compared to the subordinate, pregnant females in the pack. Consequently, the cubs of the alpha females were more aggressive and exhibited more sexual play, characteristics that elevate the chances for life-success in both sexes.

In hyena packs, male-female social roles are reversed from what is normally found in nature--that is, female hyenas are larger, more aggressive and dominate the group. They even have deceptively male-like genitalia, leading to the misconception that they are hermaphrodites.

According to Jerry Wolff, the National Science Foundation manager whose program helped support this work, "this is a clear example of how the complex integration of genetics, physiology and social environment leads to reproductive success for this species."

Wolff believes that Holekamp's work will create a paradigm shift in how scientists view the establishment of dominance in mammals.


'"/>

Source:National Science Foundation


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Ultrasounds show mothers drinking shrinks fetal brain
2. Priming embryonic stem cells to fulfill their promise
3. Protein offers way to stop microscopic parasites in their tracks
4. Flocking together: Study shows how animal groups find their way
5. Where bacteria get their genes
6. Chickadees can help humans get their bearings
7. Bacteria use hosts immune response to their competitive advantage
8. Structures of marine toxins provide insight into their effectiveness as cancer drugs
9. Beauty queens urge girls not to sacrifice their bones
10. Researchers learn how blood vessel cells cope with their pressure-packed job
11. Stem cells electric abilities might help their safe clinical use
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/15/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ...  report to their offering.  ,      ... gait biometrics market is expected to grow at ... Gait analysis generates multiple variables such ... compute factors that are not or cannot be ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting ... are setting a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks ... By leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely ... pulse and body mass index, and, when they opt ... and convenient visit to a local retail location at ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys ... founding CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned ... of the original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology ... of Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of ... to the company. Dr. Bready served as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case report published today in ... patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection ... for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated ... the medical community, has closed its Series A funding ... . "We have received a commitment from ... we need to meet our current goals," stated ... the runway to complete validation on the current projects ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, the ... the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower to finish ... 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on the following equities: Infinity ... NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... ). Learn more about these stocks by accessing their free ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free webinar on Performing Quality ... 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still ...
Breaking Biology Technology: