Responses to threat by female bobucks, Trichosurus caninus, during different stages of offspring development
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- McDonald-Madden, E., Elgar, M.A. & Handasyde, K.A. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (2004) 56: 322. doi:10.1007/s00265-004-0799-0
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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.