Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Striped mice -- the neighbors from hell

Date:
June 23, 2010
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
Fighting, paternity tests and infidelity. No, not a daytime talk show, but the results of new research examining why the fur will fly if a four-striped grass mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio) wanders into his neighbor's territory. Researchers investigated aggression in the mammalian species, finding that breeding males are much more concerned with repelling their neighbors than with defending their partners from complete strangers.

Rhabdomys pumilio (striped mouse).
Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Fighting, paternity tests and infidelity. No, not a daytime talk show, but the results of new research examining why the fur will fly if a four-striped grass mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio) wanders into his neighbour's territory.

Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Frontiers in Zoology investigated aggression in the mammalian species, finding that breeding males are much more concerned with repelling their neighbours than with defending their partners from complete strangers.

Carsten Schradin from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, worked with a team of researchers to stage encounters between wild mice in a specially created 'neutral' arena. He said, "We found that breeding males tested during the breeding season showed significantly more aggression towards their neighbours than towards strange breeding males not neighbouring them. Breeding males were significantly more aggressive than non-breeders."

This 'Nasty Neighbour' phenomenon has been seen in other animals and contrasts with the 'Dear Enemy' behavior in which the breeding male will preferably attack strangers. Both are ways of limiting the cost of territorial behavior. In this field study, the researchers were able to test the paternity of offspring conceived during the study period and found that neighbouring males were more likely than the wandering strangers to sire pups with another mouse's 'harem'.

According to Schradin, this may explain the animal's preference for neighbourly aggression, "We've found that the neighbours of breeding males pose a recognisable threat to the breeding male's confidence of paternity, and suggest that this explains the occurrence of the nasty neighbour phenomenon in striped mice."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Carsten Schradin, Carola Schneider and Anna K Lindholm. The nasty neighbour in the striped mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio) steals paternity and elicits aggression. Frontiers in Zoology, 2010; (in press) [link]

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Striped mice -- the neighbors from hell." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100622191928.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2010, June 23). Striped mice -- the neighbors from hell. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100622191928.htm
BioMed Central. "Striped mice -- the neighbors from hell." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100622191928.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Annual Dog Surfing Competition Draws California Crowds

Annual Dog Surfing Competition Draws California Crowds

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — The best canine surfers gathered for Huntington Beach's annual dog surfing competition, "Surf City, Surf Dog." Duration: 01:15 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