Quick Search:

uzh logo
Browse by:

Zurich Open Repository and Archive

Maintenance: Tuesday, July the 26th 2016, 07:00-10:00

ZORA's new graphical user interface will be relaunched (For further infos watch out slideshow ZORA: Neues Look & Feel). There will be short interrupts on ZORA Service between 07:00am and 10:00 am. Please be patient.

Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2488

Weidt, A; Hofmann, S E; König, B (2008). Not only mate choice matters: fitness consequences of social partner choice in female house mice. Animal Behaviour, 75(3):801-808.

[img] PDF - Registered users only
View at publisher


In addition to sexual selection, selection resulting from social interactions in contexts other than mating can be a potent evolutionary force. Such social selection processes are facilitated whenever individual fitness varies as a result of any form of social interactions. The choice of social partners for communal care of young is such a situation in which interactants potentially experience fitness variance. In this study, we investigated the existence and impact of female social partner choice and the potential for social selection to occur in the cooperatively breeding wild house mouse, Mus domesticus. We analysed patterns of individual associations in groups of females, and compared the reproductive behaviour of females grouped with either a preferred or a nonpreferred social partner over an experimental life span of half a year, using spatial association as a measure of preference. We predicted low reproductive competition among preferred social partners and high competition, reflected in lower reproductive success, among nonpreferred. Our results showed that female house mice displayed nonrandom preferences, and that social partner choice yielded significant fitness benefits. Females in pairs with a preferred partner had a significantly higher probability to give birth and to establish an egalitarian, cooperative relationship, resulting in higher reproductive success than females in nonpreferred pairs. This suggests that interactions among females are subject to social selection processes, driving the evolution of female traits.


33 citations in Web of Science®
39 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™



2 downloads since deposited on 14 May 2008
0 downloads since 12 months

Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:competition; cooperation; female choice; female preference; fitness consequences; house mouse; Mus domesticus; reproductive success; social partner choice; social selection
Deposited On:14 May 2008 09:30
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:23
Additional Information:published online 23 October 2007; MS. number: 9284; www.sciencedirect.com
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.06.017

Users (please log in): suggest update or correction for this item

Repository Staff Only: item control page