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DEPE | Séminaires BEEPSS / BEEPSS Seminars » Communal nursing in house mice

Communal nursing in house mice

Last update: : Friday 16 October 2015, by Nicolas Busser

Par : Barbara König, Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Sciences, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Date : Jeudi 15 octobre 2015 à 13h30
Lieu : IPHC, Amphithéâtre Grünewald, bâtiment 25

Female house mice (Mus musculus domesticus) show two breeding strategies. They can either rear their young alone or communally with one or several other females. We study the energetic costs, proximate mechanisms and the adaptive value of communal nursing. I will present data revealing that indiscriminate offspring care in a joint nest results in conflict among social partners as soon as females differ in litter size. Communal offspring care therefore is a situation of cooperation that resembles a public good and is conditional, since females have the option not to join. Cooperation in such a situation may be stabilised by social partner choice (social selection), which is an important component of female social behaviour.

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Dr. König studies conflict and cooperation in comunally breeding house mice