Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

When It Comes To Female Red Squirrels, It Seems Any Male Will Do, Even Close Relatives

Date:
June 24, 2008
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
Researchers have found that female red squirrels showed high levels of multimale mating and would even mate with males that had similar genetic relatedness, basically mating with their relatives. Researchers from the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and the University of Sheffield in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom studied a population of red squirrels over a period of three years near Kluane National Park in southwest Yukon.

When female red squirrels chose a mate to copulate with, genetic relatedness did not play a factor, according to a new study.
Credit: iStockphoto/Richard Thornton

Researchers have found that female red squirrels showed high levels of multimale mating and would even mate with males that had similar genetic relatedness, basically mating with their relatives.

Related Articles


Researchers from the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and the University of Sheffield in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom studied a population of red squirrels over a period of three years near Kluane National Park in southwest Yukon.

While males mating with multiple females is quite common in the animal kingdom, females that multi-mate is much harder to explain.

Through their observations, it was noted that when female red squirrels chose a mate to copulate with, genetic relatedness did not play a factor.

"In males, the benefits of multi-female mating are well established, but in females the benefits of having many offspring is limited, making the reasoning for multimale mating more puzzling," said Jeffrey Lane, who conducted the study while obtaining his PhD at the University of Alberta.

The researchers also found that the relatedness of parents had no effect on the neonatal mass and growth rate of their offspring. As well, whether or not an offspring survived to one year of age wasn't affected by having related parents either.

"Detailed investigations into the social and genetic context of multimale mating in red squirrels and other mammalian species should help to provide insight into the evolution and maintenance of this behavior," said Lane.

This research appears in this month's Animal Behavior.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "When It Comes To Female Red Squirrels, It Seems Any Male Will Do, Even Close Relatives." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080620115855.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2008, June 24). When It Comes To Female Red Squirrels, It Seems Any Male Will Do, Even Close Relatives. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080620115855.htm
University of Alberta. "When It Comes To Female Red Squirrels, It Seems Any Male Will Do, Even Close Relatives." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080620115855.htm (accessed November 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Watch Baby Goose Survive A 400-Foot Cliff Dive

Watch Baby Goose Survive A 400-Foot Cliff Dive

Buzz60 (Oct. 31, 2014) For its nature series Life Story, the BBC profiled the barnacle goose, whose chicks must make a daredevil 400-foot cliff dive from their nests to find food. Jen Markham has the astonishing video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
World's Salamanders At Risk From Flesh-Eating Fungus

World's Salamanders At Risk From Flesh-Eating Fungus

Newsy (Oct. 31, 2014) The import of salamanders around the globe is thought to be contributing to the spread of a deadly fungus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alcoholic Drinks In The E.U. Could Get Calorie Labels

Alcoholic Drinks In The E.U. Could Get Calorie Labels

Newsy (Oct. 31, 2014) A health group in the United Kingdom has called for mandatory calorie labels on alcoholic beverages in the European Union. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Malaria Threat in Liberia as Fight Against Ebola Rages

Malaria Threat in Liberia as Fight Against Ebola Rages

AFP (Oct. 31, 2014) Focus on treating the Ebola epidemic in Liberia means that treatment for malaria, itself a killer, is hard to come by. MSF are now undertaking the mass distribution of antimalarials in Monrovia. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins