Origins of Parental Care

  • Peter H. Klopfer


Caring for one’s offspring is so widespread among birds and mammals that it is the exceptions that attract our attention. Among birds, megapodes are a special curiosity precisely because their precocial young are unattended by their elders, even though the latter may have labored long maintaining an optimal temperature in their solar-heated nests (Frith, 1962). Mammals, by virtue of the nursing relationship between mothers and young, are never quite so distant from their offspring, but in some species the contact between the generations ends abruptly with weaning while in others it persists long after. Why is parental care not universal and uniform?


Parental Care Reproductive Effort Parental Investment Male Territoriality Paternal Care 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter H. Klopfer
    • 1
  1. 1.Zoology DepartmentDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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