Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fit females make more daughters, mighty males get grandsons

Date:
January 9, 2012
Source:
University of Exeter
Summary:
Females influence the gender of their offspring so they inherit either their mother's or grandfather's qualities. "High-quality" females -- those which produce more offspring -- are more likely to have daughters. Weaker females, whose own fathers were stronger and more successful, produce more sons.

Females influence the gender of their offspring so they inherit either their mother's or grandfather's qualities. 'High-quality' females -- those which produce more offspring -- are more likely to have daughters.

Related Articles


Weaker females, whose own fathers were stronger and more successful, produce more sons.

The study, by scientists at the University of Exeter (UK), Okayama University and Kyushu University (Japan), is published January 9 in the journal Ecology Letters. It shows for the first time that females are able to manipulate the sex of their offspring to compensate for the fact that some of the genes which make a good male make a bad female and vice versa.

The research focuses on the broad-horned flour beetle, Gnatocerus cornutus, but the team believes the findings could apply to other species across the animal kingdom, even mammals.

Male flour beetles with large jaws have the most mating success and win the most fights, so are seen as 'high quality'. However, the muscles and body shape needed to carry the massive jaws mean that large-jawed males father daughters with a more masculine body-shape, less adept at carrying eggs. This means that these successful males father daughters who produce fewer offspring.

Poor-quality females produce more sons who inherit their grandfather's good qualities. Conversely, high-quality daughters, fathered by poor males, produce relatively small-jawed and weak sons, and compensate by producing more female offspring that will inherit their mother's good attributes.

Corresponding author Dr David Hosken of Biosciences at the University of Exeter (Cornwall Campus) said: "Our study shows females are able to bias the sex ratio of their offspring in surprising and subtle ways. These findings shed new light on why some families have lots of sons, while others have mainly daughters. Of course everyone will be interested to know if the study can help explain why this sometimes happens in human families but I'm afraid we can't answer that!"

The broad-horned flour beetle is a well-known pest that feeds on flour and grains, such as porridge and semolina. Around three to four centimetres long and reddish-brown in colour, they live all over the world.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Masako Katsuki, Tomohiro Harano, Takahisa Miyatake, Kensuke Okada, David J. Hosken. Intralocus sexual conflict and offspring sex ratio. Ecology Letters, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01725.x

Cite This Page:

University of Exeter. "Fit females make more daughters, mighty males get grandsons." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120109102918.htm>.
University of Exeter. (2012, January 9). Fit females make more daughters, mighty males get grandsons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120109102918.htm
University of Exeter. "Fit females make more daughters, mighty males get grandsons." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120109102918.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) The Houston Zoo released video of a male baby okapi. Okapis, also known as the "forest giraffe", are native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Video is mute from source. (Nov. 20) 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:

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