Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Disappearing nannies force parents to accept their duties

Date:
April 12, 2013
Source:
University of Bristol
Summary:
Large helpers (nannies) in a cichlid fish allow the dominant male and female to reduce their personal contribution to their offspring and territory, according to new research.

Cichlid (Julidochromis ornatus).
Credit: Image by Heinz Buescher

Large helpers (nannies) in a cichlid fish allow the dominant male and female to reduce their personal contribution to their offspring and territory, according to new research published today in Functional Ecology.

Related Articles


By removing the large helper for 30 days -- which corresponds to one breeding cycle in this species -- a team from the University of Bristol and the University of Bern (Switzerland) studied the investment strategies of the dominant pair and the survival of their brood, while checking for immigration of new helpers.

Dr Rick Bruintjes, NERC Science & Business Marine Renewable Energy Fellow at the University of Bristol described: "In the cichlid Julidochromis ornatus, one large male helper spends almost all of his time close to the breeding shelter, whereas the dominant pair is only around half of their time. By removing the large helper we found that one day after removal the dominants increased territorial duties, however, seven days after removal the initial higher investment was back to pre-removal levels."

Senior statistician Dr Dik Heg from the University of Bern said: "Already after seven days, 36 per cent of the removal groups had a new large subordinate immigrant. Only with a new immigrant large helper did dominants relax their territorial duties, showcasing the benefit of having a large subordinate for the dominant pair."

MSc Zina Heg-Bachar, research assistant at the University of Bern, explained: "Removal of the nanny did not change survival rates of fry and small fish, most likely because the parents and/or the new nanny compensated for the absence of the original nanny."

This study shows the importance of large helpers in allowing the dominant pair to reduce their personal contribution to their offspring. Moreover, it highlights the importance of immigration of new helpers to relieve dominants from carrying out parental behaviours in cooperative breeding systems.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Rick Bruintjes, Zina Heg-Bachar and Dik Heg. Subordinate removal affects parental investment, but not offspring survival in a cooperative cichlid. Functional Ecology, 2013

Cite This Page:

University of Bristol. "Disappearing nannies force parents to accept their duties." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130412132405.htm>.
University of Bristol. (2013, April 12). Disappearing nannies force parents to accept their duties. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130412132405.htm
University of Bristol. "Disappearing nannies force parents to accept their duties." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130412132405.htm (accessed March 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, March 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

AP (Feb. 28, 2015) Researchers following endangered killer whales spotted a baby orca off the coast of Washington state, the third birth documented this winter but still leaving the population dangerously low. (Feb. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Drinks for Your Health

The Best Drinks for Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) When it comes to health and fitness, there&apos;s lots of talk about what foods to eat, but there are a few liquids that can promote good nutrition. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the healthiest drinks to boost your health! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cherries, Snap Peas and More Tasty Spring Produce

Cherries, Snap Peas and More Tasty Spring Produce

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) From sweet cherries to sugar snap peas, spring is the peak season for some of the tastiest and healthiest produce. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best seasonal fruits and veggies to spring in to good health! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
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