The evolution of infanticide by males in mammalian societies
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Lukas, D., & Huchard, E. (2014). The evolution of infanticide by males in mammalian societies. Science, 346 (6211), 841-844. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1257226
Male mammals may commonly kill conspecific offspring. The benefits of such infanticide to males, and its costs to females, likely vary across mammalian social and mating systems. Here we use comparative analyses to show that infanticide primarily evolves in social mammals where reproduction is monopolized by a minority of males. It has not promoted social counter-strategies such as female gregariousness, pair-living, or changes in group size and sex-ratio but is successfully prevented by female sexual promiscuity, a paternity dilution strategy. These findings indicate that infanticide is a consequence, rather than a cause, of contrasts in mammalian social systems affecting the intensity of sexual conflict.
European Research Council (294494)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1257226
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/246375