Resting Metabolic Rate Is Positively Correlated with Parental Care Behavior in a Dwarf Hamster
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Endotherms maintain high and constant body temperatures through the production and maintenance of metabolic heat. Defining the evolutionary history of these thermal adaptations and the selective factors responsible for the evolution of endothermy despite its high metabolic costs have been elusive and controversial topics in evolutionary biology. In this sense, several models have been proposed to explain the evolution of endothermy. Among them, the parental care model explains the increase in resting metabolic rate (RMR) by the action of natural selection favoring parental care. Thus, a positive relationship between parental care behavior and RMR is predicted. However, there appears to be no or little previous work experimentally testing this relationship. In the study presented here, RMR was increased through L-tyrosine injections and parental care behavior was measured. This treatment allowed us to test the relationship between RMR level and parental care behavior in a dwarf hamster. It was found that increased RMR enhanced male parental care. Specifically, male latency time, or the time until contacting and picking up their pups, decreased when RMR increased. This study demonstrates the positive relationship between RMR and the allocation of resources to parental care. This study supports the main assumption of Kotejas's parental care model and accepts Koteja's proposed explanation for the evolution of endothermy as a plausible hypothesis
FONDECYT; grant number: 3130514; grant sponsor: CAPES; grant number: F-0002 line 3.
Artículo de publicación ISI
Quote ItemJ. Exp. Zool. 325A:274–282, 2016
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