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Intrasexual competition and sexual selection in cooperative mammals

dc.contributor.authorClutton-Brock T.H.
dc.contributor.authorHodge S.J.
dc.contributor.authorSpong G.
dc.contributor.authorRussell A.F.
dc.contributor.authorJordan N.R.
dc.contributor.authorBennett N.C.
dc.contributor.authorSharpe L.L.
dc.contributor.authorManser M.B.
dc.date.accessioned2011-05-15T16:02:07Z
dc.date.available2011-05-15T16:02:07Z
dc.date.issued2006
dc.identifier.citationNature
dc.identifier.citation444
dc.identifier.citation7122
dc.identifier.issn280836
dc.identifier.other10.1038/nature05386
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/12319
dc.description.abstractIn most animals, the sex that invests least in its offspring competes more intensely for access to the opposite sex and shows greater development of secondary sexual characters than the sex that invests most. However, in some mammals where females are the primary care-givers, females compete more frequently or intensely with each other than males. A possible explanation is that, in these species, the resources necessary for successful female reproduction are heavily concentrated and intrasexual competition for breeding opportunities is more intense among females than among males. Intrasexual competition between females is likely to be particularly intense in cooperative breeders where a single female monopolizes reproduction in each group. Here, we use data from a twelve-year study of wild meerkats (Suricata suricatta), where females show high levels of reproductive skew, to show that females gain greater benefits from acquiring dominant status than males and traits that increase competitive ability exert a stronger influence on their breeding success. Females that acquire dominant status also develop a suite of morphological, physiological and behavioural characteristics that help them to control other group members. Our results show that sex differences in parental investment are not the only mechanism capable of generating sex differences in reproductive competition and emphasize the extent to which competition for breeding opportunities between females can affect the evolution of sex differences and the operation of sexual selection. ©2006 Nature Publishing Group.
dc.subjectcompetitive ability
dc.subjectcooperative breeding
dc.subjectintraspecific competition
dc.subjectparental investment
dc.subjectreproduction
dc.subjectreproductive success
dc.subjectsexual selection
dc.subjectanimal behavior
dc.subjectanimal experiment
dc.subjectarticle
dc.subjectbreeding
dc.subjectcompetition
dc.subjectcontrolled study
dc.subjectcooperation
dc.subjectdominant inheritance
dc.subjectfemale
dc.subjectmale
dc.subjectmammal
dc.subjectnonhuman
dc.subjectpriority journal
dc.subjectsex difference
dc.subjectsexual behavior
dc.subjectsexual selection
dc.subjectsuricata suricatta
dc.subjectAggression
dc.subjectAnimals
dc.subjectCarnivora
dc.subjectCompetitive Behavior
dc.subjectCooperative Behavior
dc.subjectFemale
dc.subjectMale
dc.subjectReproduction
dc.subjectSelection (Genetics)
dc.subjectSex
dc.subjectSex Characteristics
dc.subjectSexual Behavior, Animal
dc.subjectSocial Dominance
dc.subjectSouth Africa
dc.subjectAnimalia
dc.subjectMammalia
dc.subjectSuricata suricatta
dc.titleIntrasexual competition and sexual selection in cooperative mammals
dc.typeArticle
dc.description.versionArticle


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