Adaptive evolution of synchronous egg-hatching in compensation for the loss of parental care.
Haynes, Hannah B
Leaf, Miranda R
Kilner, Rebecca M
Proc Biol Sci
The Royal Society
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Jarrett, B. J., Rebar, D., Haynes, H. B., Leaf, M. R., Halliwell, C., Kemp, R., & Kilner, R. M. (2018). Adaptive evolution of synchronous egg-hatching in compensation for the loss of parental care.. Proc Biol Sci, 285 (1885) https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.1452
Interactions among siblings are finely balanced between rivalry and cooperation, but the factors that tip the balance towards cooperation are incompletely understood. Previous observations of insect species suggest that (i) sibling cooperation is more likely when siblings hatch at the same time, and (ii) this is more common when parents provide little to no care. In this paper, we tested these ideas experimentally with the burying beetle, Nicrophorus vespilloides Burying beetles convert the body of a small dead vertebrate into an edible nest for their larvae, and provision and guard their young after hatching. In our first experiment, we simulated synchronous or asynchronous hatching by adding larvae at different intervals to the carrion-breeding resource. We found that 'synchronously' hatched broods survived better than 'asynchronously' hatched broods, probably because 'synchronous hatching' generated larger teams of larvae, that together worked more effectively to penetrate the carrion nest and feed upon it. In our second experiment, we measured the synchronicity of hatching in experimental populations that had evolved for 22 generations without any post-hatching care, and control populations that had evolved in parallel with post-hatching care. We found that larvae were more likely to hatch earlier, and at the same time as their broodmates, in the experimental populations that evolved without post-hatching care. We suggest that synchronous hatching enables offspring to help each other when parents are not present to provide care. However, we also suggest that greater levels of cooperation among siblings cannot compensate fully for the loss of parental care.
Animals, Behavior, Animal, Maternal Behavior, Adaptation, Biological, Larva, Reproduction, Biological Evolution, Coleoptera
European Research Council (310785)
The Royal Society (wm140111)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.1452
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/285343
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/