Biology Bulletin

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 479–488 | Cite as

Interactions of partners in family pairs, care of the offspring, and the role of tactile stimulation in formation of parental behavior of the Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus) under laboratory conditions

  • V. S. Gromov


The interactions of sexual partners and care of the offspring in male and female Mongolian gerbils reared in biparental and uniparental family groups (without an adult male) were compared. In individuals reared in biparental family groups, sexual differences related to the manifestation of parental care were small and statistically insignificant. In individuals reared in uniparental groups, the interactions of sexual partners related to grooming changed; the duration in males decreased threefold, as compared to the norm; indices of parental behavior of females and, especially of males, related to tactile stimulation of pups (huddling with pups in the nest and duration of licking pups) also decreased. The importance of the parental contribution of males, especially of tactile stimulation, in the evolution of the family-group mode of life is discussed.


Biology Bulletin Family Group Tactile Stimulation Mongolian Gerbil Prairie Vole 
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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Severtsov Institute of Ecology and EvolutionMoscowRussia

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