SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Why do cuckolded males provide paternal care?

OPEN PLoS biology | 5 Apr 2013

AS Griffin, SH Alonzo and CK Cornwallis
Abstract
In most species, males do not abandon offspring or reduce paternal care when they are cuckolded by other males. This apparent lack of adjustment of paternal investment with the likelihood of paternity presents a potential challenge to our understanding of what drives selection for paternal care. In a comparative analysis across birds, fish, mammals, and insects we identify key factors that explain why cuckolded males in many species do not reduce paternal care. Specifically, we show that cuckolded males only reduce paternal investment if both the costs of caring are relatively high and there is a high risk of cuckoldry. Under these circumstances, selection is expected to favour males that reduce paternal effort in response to cuckoldry. In many species, however, these conditions are not satisfied and tolerant males have outcompeted males that abandon young.
Tweets*
21
Facebook likes*
3
Reddit*
2
News coverage*
2
Blogs*
2
SC clicks
1
Concepts
Mammal, Understanding, Cuckold, Reproduction, Human, Parental investment, Species, Offspring
MeSH headings
-
comments powered by Disqus

* Data courtesy of Altmetric.com