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Hanging with the boys - female Alpine marmots benefit from a bit of pre-natal testosterone
Date:12/6/2011

s to make females more aggressive but less reproductively successful. However, it was unknown so far whether this is of any importance in free-living wild animals. Moreover, the results on Alpine marmots seem to show the opposite effect: the greater the male-bias in a litter, the better the chance for females to become dominant and hence reproductively successful. An exposure to higher testosterone levels during foetal development thus seems to give female marmots an edge over other females in a population. As Arnold says, "Male marmots only mate with the dominant female in a group and clearly do not mind that she is a bit 'butch' which she has to be to reach that position in the first place."


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Contact: Prof Walter Arnold
walter.arnold@vetmeduni.ac.at
43-148-909-15100
University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna
Source:Eurekalert

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