Altruism and infidelity among warblers

Richardson, David S. ORCID:, Komdeur, Jan and Burke, Terry (2003) Altruism and infidelity among warblers. Nature, 422 (6932). p. 580. ISSN 0028-0836

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In cooperatively breeding vertebrates, indirect fitness benefits1,2 are maximized by subordinates who choose to help their own closely related kin after accurately assessing their relatedness to the group's offspring3,4,5. Here we show that in the cooperatively breeding Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis), female subordinates help to raise new nestlings by providing them with food only when the offspring are being raised by parents who also fed the subordinates themselves when they were young3. These helper females use the continued presence of the primary female, rather than of the primary male, as their provisioning cue — presumably because female infidelity is rife in this species6, making their relatedness to the father less reliable.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Organisms and the Environment
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2010 13:37
Last Modified: 16 May 2023 09:31
DOI: 10.1038/422580a

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