Females do best if they wait a while

Starting to breed late in life is a bad idea if you want to maximise the number of offspring that you produce - or so the theory goes.

But doubt has now been cast on this hypothesis - one of the biggest assumptions in behavioural ecology - by researchers from the universities of Bristol and Cape Town and published today in Current Biology.

Green woodhoopoes are a cooperative bird species that live in year-round, residential groups of 2-12 individuals in which only one pair breeds per season. The remaining individuals help to raise the offspring of the dominant pair, while waiting to breed themselves. Consequently, although both males and females reach reproductive maturity at one year of age, individuals may not start breeding for several years.

Using data gathered over 24 years, Dr Andy Radford and colleagues demonstrate that the females that started breeding later in life actually had more offspring than those that started earlier. Males, on the other hand, met the traditional expectation that a delayed start to breeding results in fewer offspring.

The researchers hypothesise that this surprising and apparently paradoxical situation is because females that attempt to start breeding early in life have a very high mortality rate. In contrast, females who start breeding later tend to live longer, have longer breeding careers, and thus produce more fledglings.

Dr Radford, from Bristol University's School of Biological Sciences, who is funded by the BBSRC, said: "It has been generally assumed that males and females suffer similarly from a delayed start to breeding, and many studies have investigated how non-breeding birds might mitigate this assumed cost. However, as in many facets of life, the sexes differ dramatically: although male woodhoopoes do indeed suffer if they don't start breeding as soon as possible, females do best to wait a while."

The authors postulate that the reason why young females have s

Contact: Andy Radford
University of Bristol

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Females more prone to brain damage from alcohol abuse
2. Females, alcohol and hormones
3. UC faculty members break new ground while treading gently on the Alaskan tundra
4. Human Y chromosome stays intact while chimp Y loses genes

Post Your Comments:

(Date:5/21/2020)... SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2020 , ... ... justice, and remove danger for all of us. The positions of these men and ... as from the defense for not following rules precisely. Officers have always had to ...
(Date:5/14/2020)... ... May 13, 2020 , ... DuPont Nutrition ... enzyme for the lactose-free dairy market. This unique product allows for process optimization ... products at competitive costs across North America. , Among the numerous benefits Bonlacta™ ...
(Date:5/6/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... May 06, ... ... that Brevitest Technologies (Houston, Texas, http://www.brevitest.com ) will become the latest ... Covington region of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. , Brevitest has developed a point-of-care ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/22/2020)... ... April 21, 2020 , ... Ripple Science ... Many clinical trial teams are working remotely and have paused patient visits, forcing ... researchers continue their research during this uncertain time by giving research teams free ...
(Date:4/7/2020)... ... April 06, 2020 , ... Red Nucleus, a leading provider ... announced the release of at-home virtual learning resources for all client partners. , ... safety of our employees as we continue to implement measures to safeguard the ...
(Date:4/1/2020)... ... March 31, 2020 , ... ... method using its revolutionary NEXTGENPCR endpoint thermocycler and consumables that decreases PCR ... increased samples per run, and standard, affordable laboratory equipment, a qualitative protocol ...
(Date:3/27/2020)... Kansas (PRWEB) , ... March ... ... proudly announces the opening of its veterinary histopathology laboratory located centrally in ... partnering clients the ability to work with a highly motivated, independent, professional ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: