Mammal Reproductive Strategies Driven by Offspring Mortality-Size Relationships

Richard M. Sibly, James H. Brown

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

    Resumé

    Trade-offs have long been a major theme in life-history theory, but they have been hard to document. We introduce a new method that reveals patterns of divergent trade-offs after adjusting for the pervasive variation in rate of resource allocation to offspring as a function of body size and lifestyle. Results suggest that preweaning vulnerability to predation has been the major factor determining how female placental mammals allocate production between a few large and many small offspring within a litter and between a few large litters and many small ones within a reproductive season. Artiodactyls, perissodactyls, cetaceans, and pinnipeds, which give birth in the open on land or in the sea, produce a few large offspring, at infrequent intervals, because this increases their chances of escaping predation. Insectivores, fissiped carnivores, lagomorphs, and rodents, whose offspring are protected in burrows or nests, produce large litters of small newborns. Primates, bats, sloths, and anteaters, which carry their young from birth until weaning, produce litters of one or a few offspring because of the need to transport and care for them.
    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    TidsskriftAmerican Naturalist
    Vol/bind173
    Udgave nummer6
    Sider (fra-til)E185-E199
    ISSN0003-0147
    DOI
    StatusUdgivet - 2009

    Emneord

      Citer dette

      Sibly, Richard M. ; Brown, James H. / Mammal Reproductive Strategies Driven by Offspring Mortality-Size Relationships. I: American Naturalist. 2009 ; Bind 173, Nr. 6. s. E185-E199.
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      title = "Mammal Reproductive Strategies Driven by Offspring Mortality-Size Relationships",
      abstract = "Trade-offs have long been a major theme in life-history theory, but they have been hard to document. We introduce a new method that reveals patterns of divergent trade-offs after adjusting for the pervasive variation in rate of resource allocation to offspring as a function of body size and lifestyle. Results suggest that preweaning vulnerability to predation has been the major factor determining how female placental mammals allocate production between a few large and many small offspring within a litter and between a few large litters and many small ones within a reproductive season. Artiodactyls, perissodactyls, cetaceans, and pinnipeds, which give birth in the open on land or in the sea, produce a few large offspring, at infrequent intervals, because this increases their chances of escaping predation. Insectivores, fissiped carnivores, lagomorphs, and rodents, whose offspring are protected in burrows or nests, produce large litters of small newborns. Primates, bats, sloths, and anteaters, which carry their young from birth until weaning, produce litters of one or a few offspring because of the need to transport and care for them.",
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      Mammal Reproductive Strategies Driven by Offspring Mortality-Size Relationships. / Sibly, Richard M.; Brown, James H.

      I: American Naturalist, Bind 173, Nr. 6, 2009, s. E185-E199.

      Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

      TY - JOUR

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      N2 - Trade-offs have long been a major theme in life-history theory, but they have been hard to document. We introduce a new method that reveals patterns of divergent trade-offs after adjusting for the pervasive variation in rate of resource allocation to offspring as a function of body size and lifestyle. Results suggest that preweaning vulnerability to predation has been the major factor determining how female placental mammals allocate production between a few large and many small offspring within a litter and between a few large litters and many small ones within a reproductive season. Artiodactyls, perissodactyls, cetaceans, and pinnipeds, which give birth in the open on land or in the sea, produce a few large offspring, at infrequent intervals, because this increases their chances of escaping predation. Insectivores, fissiped carnivores, lagomorphs, and rodents, whose offspring are protected in burrows or nests, produce large litters of small newborns. Primates, bats, sloths, and anteaters, which carry their young from birth until weaning, produce litters of one or a few offspring because of the need to transport and care for them.

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      KW - offspring size

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