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Flashcards in Parental Behaviour 7 Deck (18)
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What is the parental investment theory proposed by Trivers defined as?

Any investment by the parent in an individual offspring that increases the offsprings chance of surviving at the cost of the parents ability to invest in other offspring


What are the three conflicts that can influence the amount a parent invests in its offspring?

1. Between parents on how much care each should provide
2. Between siblings on how much care each should demand
3. Between parents and offspring on supply and demand for care


What are precocial young?

Born able to be independent of the parents- born able to see and walk etc.


What are altricial young?

Reliant on parents to care and feed them


What changed are associated with incubation in chickens?

Large amount of time sitting on egg
Formation of brood patch
Stop laying and ovaries regress
Aggressive pecking when approached
Voluntary reduction of food intake and body mass


What hormone even if injected alone can sustain nesting?



What is also needed in order to stimulate prolactin leading to nesting behaviour?

Tactile stimulation of the brood patch


What releasing factor controls the release of prolactin from the pituitary in birds?

Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)


What happens if immunisation against VIP or prolactin in chickens and turkeys occurs?

It inhibits incubation behaviour


What regions of the brain were found to be important for incubation and parental behaviour?

POA and basal hypothalamus

Both are also binding sites for prolactin


What is the difference in prolactin levels in precocial and altricial species?

In precocial species prolactin levels decrease after hatching, but it is extended in altricial species


What was found in the long term study on scrub jays?

The young remain in the parents territory for several years as helpers- alloparenting

Prolactin increases in the helpers but it’s lower than the parents


What are the three major maternal behaviours common to mammals?

1. Lick pups after birth
2. Adopt nursing posture
3. Bring escaped pups back to the nest


What did Moltz et al. find in his hormone replacement study?

A sequence of oestradiol-progesterone-prolactin reduced the onset of maternal behaviour from 6 days to 35hrs

But still not as rapid as after normal birth


How is prolactin released in mammals?

By the brain via dopamine rather than VIP as in birds


What do mPOA lesions do to maternal behaviour?

Reduce both appetitive and consummatory behaviours


What is the lateral POA important for in maternal behaviour?

Pup retrieval, nest building and nursing behaviour


What is the fish equivalent of oxytocin?