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Experimental alteration of litter sex ratios in a mammal


Cameron, EZ and Lemons, PR and Bateman, PW and Bennett, NC, Experimental alteration of litter sex ratios in a mammal, Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences, 275, (1632) pp. 323-327. ISSN 0962-8452 (2008) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright © 2007 The Royal Society

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DOI: doi:10.1098/rspb.2007.1401


Adaptive theory predicts that mothers would be advantaged by adjusting the sex ratio of their offspring in relation to their offspring's future reproductive success. Studies investigating sex ratio variation in mammals, including humans, have obtained notoriously inconsistent results, except when maternal condition is measured around conception. Several mechanisms for sex ratio adjustment have been proposed. Here, we test the hypothesis that glucose concentrations around conception influence sex ratios. The change in glucose levels resulted in a change in sex ratios, with more daughters being born to females with experimentally lowered glucose, and with the change in glucose levels being more predictive than the glucose levels per se. We provide evidence for a mechanism, which, in tandem with other mechanisms, could explain observed sex ratio variation in mammals.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Trivers–Willard hypothesis sex allocation glucose maternal investment
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Behavioural ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Cameron, EZ (Professor Elissa Cameron)
ID Code:67405
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:84
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2011-03-03
Last Modified:2011-04-08

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