Field evidence for aseasonality of reproduction and colony size in the Afrotropical giant mole-rat Fukomys mechowii (Rodentia: Bathyergidae)

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dc.contributor.author Sichilima, Alfred Matafwali
dc.contributor.author Faulkes, Christopher G., 1959-
dc.contributor.author Bennett, Nigel C., 1961-
dc.date.accessioned 2009-11-23T06:41:42Z
dc.date.available 2009-11-23T06:41:42Z
dc.date.issued 2008-10
dc.description.abstract The giant mole-rat, Fukomys mechowii is a cooperatively breeding subterranean mole-rat exhibiting a reproductive division of labour in which usually one, or occasionally two, females are responsible for procreation. In a field study that involved complete excavation of 32 burrow systems, mean colony size was 9.9 individuals (range 7-16). Pregnant reproductive females were found throughout the study period (September 2005 until June 2006), supporting preliminary evidence that reproduction occurs throughout the year. Of the 32 colonies sampled, 10 of 14 in which the reproductive female could be identified as pregnant contained a single reproductive female, while four had two females breeding simultaneously (plural breeding). The population sex ratio was skewed towards females at 1:1.46. Autopsy of pregnant reproductive females (n = 18) revealed that the production of two (10 / 18 pregnancies) or three (7 / 18) offspring was the norm, with one case of four embryos being present. These new data increase our fragmentary knowledge of the natural history of this little-studied species. en_US
dc.identifier.citation Sichilima, AM, Faulkes, CG. & Bennett, NC 2008, 'Field evidence for aseasonality of reproduction and colony size in the Afrotropical giant mole-rat Fukomys mechowii (Rodentia: Bathyergidae)', African Zoology, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 144-149. [http://www.journals.co.za/ej/ejour_afzoo.html] en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1562-7020
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/11990
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Zoological Society of Southern Africa en_US
dc.rights Zoological Society of Southern Africa en_US
dc.subject Fukomys mechowii en
dc.subject Cryptomys en
dc.subject Colony size en
dc.subject Seasonality en
dc.subject Reproductive skew en
dc.subject Mole rats, African en
dc.subject.lcsh Bathyergidae -- Reproduction en
dc.subject.lcsh Season of birth en
dc.title Field evidence for aseasonality of reproduction and colony size in the Afrotropical giant mole-rat Fukomys mechowii (Rodentia: Bathyergidae) en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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