Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Australian Frog Species Chooses Not To Put Eggs In One Basket

Date:
September 26, 2008
Source:
Monash University
Summary:
A new study into the mating and nesting practices of a common Australian frog has found they partner up to eight males sequentially -- the highest recorded of any vertebrate.

Male frog on eggs. Australian researchers have discovered that females of the frog species Bibron's toadlet distribute their eggs between the nests of up to eight different males.
Credit: Image courtesy of Monash University

A groundbreaking new study into the mating and nesting practices of a common Australian frog has found they partner up to eight males sequentially – the highest recorded of any vertebrate.

Dr Phillip Byrne, from Monash University's School of Biological Sciences, has researched the frog species Bibron's toadlet (Pseudophryne bibronii) for six years and in this latest field trip, discovered a new behaviour undetected in a frog species until now.

"Our study revealed that females made the active decision to distribute their eggs between the nests of up to eight different males," Dr Byrne said.

Dr Byrne led the study, which involved Professor Scott Keogh from Australian National University, in an area at Jervis Bay National Park on the New South Wales south coast .

They worked overnight shifts from 6 pm to 6 am, seven days a week for over four months and kept track of almost 100 frogs.

Using DNA markers Dr Byrne found females that distributed their available eggs between the nests of more males, as opposed to leaving them in one nest, had elevated offspring survival, presumably by insuring against nest failure.

"Traditionally it was thought that males, but not females, should benefit from promiscuous behaviour because males generally invest less in reproduction. This level of promiscuity is a new record among vertebrates and certainly supports the old adage of not putting all your eggs in the one basket," Dr Byrne said.

"Our study advances our understanding of female promiscuity by being the first to show that promiscuous females can safeguard against choosing fathers that provide poor homes for their offspring.

"It is becoming increasingly apparent that females in many animal species choose to mate with multiple partners as a safeguard against choosing a genetically inferior sire, but insurance against a father who provides a lousy home is a novel and potentially widespread explanation for the evolution of female promiscuity," Dr Byrne said.

The Pseudophryne bibronii is brown to black in colour and at just 30mm in length is one of the smaller frog species in Australia. It can be found along the eastern states of Australia and lives in forests, heathlands and grasslands.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Monash University. "Australian Frog Species Chooses Not To Put Eggs In One Basket." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080918091335.htm>.
Monash University. (2008, September 26). Australian Frog Species Chooses Not To Put Eggs In One Basket. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080918091335.htm
Monash University. "Australian Frog Species Chooses Not To Put Eggs In One Basket." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080918091335.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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