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Male-only care and cuckoldry in black coucals: does parenting hamper sex life?


Safari, Ignas; Goymann, Wolfgang; Kokko, Hanna (2019). Male-only care and cuckoldry in black coucals: does parenting hamper sex life? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 286(1900):20182789.

Abstract

Providing parental care often reduces additional mating opportunities. Paternal care becomes easier to understand if trade-offs between mating and caring remain mild. The black coucal Centropus grillii combines male-only parental care with 50% of all broods containing young sired by another male. To understand how much caring for offspring reduces a male's chance to sire additional young in other males' nests, we matched the production of extra-pair young in each nest with the periods during which potential extra-pair sires were either caring for offspring themselves or when they had no own offspring to care for. We found that males which cared for a clutch were not fully excluded from the pool of competitors for siring young in other males' nests. Instead, the relative siring success showed a temporary dip. Males were approximately 17% less likely to sire young in other males' nests while they were incubating, about 48% less likely to do so while feeding nestlings, followed by 26% when feeding fledglings, compared to the success of males that currently did not care for offspring. These results suggest that real-life care situations by males may involve trade-off structures that differ from, and are less strict than those frequently employed in theoretical considerations of operational sex ratios, sex roles and parenting decisions.

Abstract

Providing parental care often reduces additional mating opportunities. Paternal care becomes easier to understand if trade-offs between mating and caring remain mild. The black coucal Centropus grillii combines male-only parental care with 50% of all broods containing young sired by another male. To understand how much caring for offspring reduces a male's chance to sire additional young in other males' nests, we matched the production of extra-pair young in each nest with the periods during which potential extra-pair sires were either caring for offspring themselves or when they had no own offspring to care for. We found that males which cared for a clutch were not fully excluded from the pool of competitors for siring young in other males' nests. Instead, the relative siring success showed a temporary dip. Males were approximately 17% less likely to sire young in other males' nests while they were incubating, about 48% less likely to do so while feeding nestlings, followed by 26% when feeding fledglings, compared to the success of males that currently did not care for offspring. These results suggest that real-life care situations by males may involve trade-off structures that differ from, and are less strict than those frequently employed in theoretical considerations of operational sex ratios, sex roles and parenting decisions.

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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)
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Life Sciences > General Immunology and Microbiology
Physical Sciences > General Environmental Science
Life Sciences > General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, General Immunology and Microbiology, General Agricultural and Biological Sciences, General Environmental Science, General Medicine
Language:English
Date:10 April 2019
Deposited On:04 Dec 2019 15:42
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 11:54
Publisher:Royal Society Publishing
ISSN:0962-8452
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.2789

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