Maternal care in the African striped mouse Rhabdomys pumilio: a behaviorally flexible phenotype that is modified by experience

Rymer, Tasmin L., and Pillay, Neville (2013) Maternal care in the African striped mouse Rhabdomys pumilio: a behaviorally flexible phenotype that is modified by experience. Developmental Psychobiology, 55 (3). pp. 265-274.

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The development of maternal care in mammals can be influenced by the type and quality of maternal care received. Using biparental striped mice Rhabdomys pumilio, we investigated whether development of maternal care is influenced by the mother during early rearing and by an adult female's experience and that of her mate. Offspring were raised in one of three treatments, by: both parents; mothers alone; and mothers separated from the father with a barrier. Since female striped mice increase their care when raising litters alone, which influences expression of parental care of their adult sons, we expected daughters to respond like sons. However, there was no treatment effect in the development of maternal care in daughters. In subsequent experiments, experienced and inexperienced females decreased care when raising their offspring with experienced but not inexperienced males. Therefore, maternal care in striped mice is modulated in response to prevailing environmental and social conditions.

Item ID: 32572
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1098-2302
Keywords: activational effects, early postnatal environment, maternal care, organizational effects, paternal care, Rhabdomys pumilio
Funders: National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa, University of the Witwatersrand
Projects and Grants: NRF grant number 2069110
Date Deposited: 29 May 2014 05:16
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060801 Animal Behaviour @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060303 Biological Adaptation @ 20%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 30%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 90%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified @ 10%
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