Climate and the distribution of cooperative breeding in mammals


Type
Article
Change log
Authors
Abstract

Cooperative breeding systems, in which non-breeding individuals provide care for the offspring of dominant group members, occur in less than 1% of mammals and are associated with social monogamy and the production of multiple offspring per birth (polytocy). Here, we show that the distribution of alloparental care by non-breeding subordinates is associated with habitats where annual rainfall is low. A possible reason for this association is that the females of species found in arid environments are usually polytocous and this may have facilitated the evolution of alloparental care.

Description
Keywords
cooperative breeding, rainfall, sociality, phylogenetic comparison
Journal Title
Royal Society Open Science
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
2054-5703
2054-5703
Volume Title
4
Publisher
Royal Society Publishing
Sponsorship
European Research Council (294494)
This project was funded by the European Research Commission (grant no. 294494-THCB2011).