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1 December 2007 Litter Size Influences Maternal but not Paternal Care in Three Species of Voles, as Measured by Nest Attendance
Betty McGuire, William E. Bemis
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Abstract

Total parental expenditure of mammals and birds has been predicted to increase with litter or brood size, but data from rodents provide little support for this prediction. We examined the effects of natural variation in litter size on parental nest attendance in pine (= woodland), prairie, and meadow voles housed in seminatural environments. In all 3 species, mothers spent less time in the nest with large litters than with small; time spent in the nest by fathers was unaffected by litter size. We suggest that failure to meet the prediction of increased parental expenditure with increased litter size reflects basic differences in the manner in which mammals and birds feed altricial young.

Betty McGuire and William E. Bemis "Litter Size Influences Maternal but not Paternal Care in Three Species of Voles, as Measured by Nest Attendance," Journal of Mammalogy 88(6), 1420-1426, (1 December 2007). https://doi.org/10.1644/06-MAMM-A-451R.1
Accepted: 1 April 2007; Published: 1 December 2007
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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KEYWORDS
litter size
maternal behavior
meadow vole
Microtus
Parental care
paternal behavior
pine vole
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