Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Competing for milk can be a stressful thing for hyena twin siblings

Date:
April 30, 2013
Source:
Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB)
Summary:
Researchers have demonstrated for the first time in a free-ranging mammal that hunger and conflict for access to resources can be “stressful” for subordinate siblings and socially challenged dominant siblings, and hence increase their cost of maintaining homeostasis.

Competing for milk can be a stressful thing for hyena twin siblings.
Credit: Photo IZW

Researchers from the German Leibniz Institute of Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) demonstrate for the first time in a free-ranging mammal that hunger and conflict for access to resources can be "stressful" for subordinate siblings and socially challenged dominant siblings, and hence increase their cost of maintaining homeostasis.

These findings were published in the science journal Biology Letters.

The researchers measured the concentration of metabolites of the 'stress' hormone cortisol in the faeces of young sibling and singleton spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, which depended on their mothers for milk. "It was not known whether sibling conflict over access to milk increased concentrations of cortisol metabolites in twin littermates -- we were now able to demonstrate that it significantly does," states Dr Sarah Benhaiem from the IZW, lead author of the study.

Surprisingly, hunger had little effect on the cortisol metabolite concentration of singletons, whether male or female. The picture was different for twin siblings -- both littermates had an elevated level when hungry. Interestingly, an even more important factor than hunger was the rivalry between twin littermates. In general, the less assertive (subordinate) cubs had higher cortisol metabolite levels than the more assertive (dominant) cubs.

More interestingly still, when hungry, subordinates competing against a sister were more assertive than subordinates competing against a brother. As a result, in such situations dominant sisters had higher cortisol metabolite levels than dominant brothers.

For the first time in a free-ranging wild mammal, the study shows how rivalry between twin siblings affects the cost of maintaining internal stability.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Benhaiem, H. Hofer, M. Dehnhard, J. Helms, M. L. East. Sibling competition and hunger increase allostatic load in spotted hyaenas. Biology Letters, 2013; 9 (3): 20130040 DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.0040

Cite This Page:

Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB). "Competing for milk can be a stressful thing for hyena twin siblings." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130430110031.htm>.
Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB). (2013, April 30). Competing for milk can be a stressful thing for hyena twin siblings. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130430110031.htm
Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB). "Competing for milk can be a stressful thing for hyena twin siblings." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130430110031.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. 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