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DEPE | Séminaires BEEPSS / BEEPSS Seminars » Sex differences in cooperation and ageing in wild social vertebrates

Sex differences in cooperation and ageing in wild social vertebrates

Last update: : Tuesday 10 May 2016, by Nicolas Busser

Par : Dr. Andrew Young, University of Exeter
Date : vendredi 10 juin 2016 à 13h
Lieu : IPHC, Amphithéâtre Grünewald, bâtiment 25

Males and females often differ markedly in their social behaviour and life-history trajectories, but the origins of these differences remain poorly understood. I will present our recent work on the origins of sex differences in cooperative behaviour and ageing in wild social vertebrates. In cooperatively breeding societies, one sex often contributes more to the cooperative care of young than the other. One hypothesis is that these differences are an evolutionary consequence of sex differences in dispersal, as the more philopatric sex may stand to gain greater downstream direct benefits from cooperative care as it will interact for longer with the offspring that it helps to raise. I will present new support for this hypothesis from our field research on white-browed sparrow-weaver societies and a comparative study across cooperative vertebrates. Sex differences in ageing trajectories are also widespread, with males frequently showing more rapid late-life declines in performance than females. I will present our work on ageing in wild European badger societies, which provides rare support for the view that sex differences in senescence can be attributed to somatic maintenance costs arising from the intensity of intra-sexual reproductive competition experienced in early adulthood.

For more information on our research, see or follow us @animalsocieties

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