Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 322–327

Responses to threat by female bobucks, Trichosurus caninus, during different stages of offspring development

  • Eve McDonald-Madden
  • Mark A. Elgar
  • Kathrine A. Handasyde
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00265-004-0799-0

Cite this article as:
McDonald-Madden, E., Elgar, M.A. & Handasyde, K.A. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (2004) 56: 322. doi:10.1007/s00265-004-0799-0

Abstract

The costs of reproduction are widely recognised as a major selective force in the evolution of various behavioural and life-history characteristics. In particular, the behaviour of reproductively active animals is likely to change when breeding increases risk of predation. We investigated the effect of an experimentally derived threat on the vigilance and escape behaviour of female Trichosurus caninus with and without dependent offspring and at different stages of offspring development. Females with offspring showed a heightened response to the threat in comparison to females without offspring. In addition, females with offspring displayed a stronger response at earlier stages of their offspring’s development.

Keywords

Costs of reproduction Offspring development Predation risk Behavioural responses 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eve McDonald-Madden
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mark A. Elgar
    • 1
  • Kathrine A. Handasyde
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental ResearchHeidelbergAustralia

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