Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hormone levels linked to survival of deer calves, study suggests

Date:
March 27, 2014
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Levels of a key hormone in the blood may be important for the survival prospects of newborn animals, a study of wild deer suggests. First-born male deer that have relatively high levels of the male hormone testosterone are less likely to survive their first year compared with their peers, the research shows.

Levels of a key hormone in the blood may be important for the survival prospects of newborn animals, a study of wild deer suggests.

Related Articles


First-born male deer that have relatively high levels of the male hormone testosterone are less likely to survive their first year compared with their peers, the research shows.

Scientists say their findings suggest that high testosterone levels represent a risk to newborns which, when coupled with a new mother's inexperience, lowers their chances of survival.

High levels of testosterone in adult male animals, including deer, are known to be linked to dominance and aggression. However, high testosterone is also associated with lowered immunity to infection and shortened lifespan.

Scientists from the Universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge measured testosterone in blood samples taken from 850 newborn wild red deer on the Isle of Rum between 1996 and 2012.

Their study could shed light on how testosterone levels affect the health and survival of young animals, an area of research which has not yet been widely studied.

The new findings also suggest testosterone levels in offspring are linked to their mother's condition. Male deer born in the years after an older brother had lower testosterone levels than other calves. Scientists are uncertain why this might be, but suggest it is because mothers are weakened by having male calves, which are heavier and suckle for longer than females.

Alyson Pavitt, from the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences, who led the study, said: "For adult animals such as red deer, high testosterone can increase strength and dominance but reduces immunity and longevity.

"This latest finding suggests that individuals born with high testosterone may be subject to similar costs."

The study, was published in Functional Ecology.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Alyson T. Pavitt, Craig A. Walling, Alan S. McNeilly, Josephine M. Pemberton, Loeske E. B. Kruuk. Variation in early-life testosterone within a wild population of red deer. Functional Ecology, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.12260

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Hormone levels linked to survival of deer calves, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327101323.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2014, March 27). Hormone levels linked to survival of deer calves, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327101323.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Hormone levels linked to survival of deer calves, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327101323.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Praying Mantis Looks Long Before It Leaps

Praying Mantis Looks Long Before It Leaps

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Slowed-down footage of the leaps of praying mantises show the insect&apos;s extraordinary precision, say researchers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Octopus Grabs Camera and Turns It Around On Photographer

Octopus Grabs Camera and Turns It Around On Photographer

Buzz60 (Mar. 5, 2015) A photographer got the shot of a lifetime, or rather an octopus did, when it grabbed the camera and turned it around to take an amazing picture of the photographer. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ringling Bros. Eliminating Elephant Acts

Ringling Bros. Eliminating Elephant Acts

AP (Mar. 5, 2015) The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is ending its iconic elephant acts. The circus&apos; parent company, Feld Entertainment, told the AP exclusively that the acts will be phased out by 2018 over growing public concern about the animals. (March 5) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

AP (Mar. 4, 2015) Once nearly extinct, grey whales now migrate in their thousands to Mexico&apos;s Vizcaino reserve in Baja California, in search of warmer waters to mate and give birth. Tourists flock to the reserve to see the whales, measuring up to 49 feet long. (March 4) 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