An intergenerational androgenic mechanism of female intrasexual competition in the cooperatively breeding meerkat

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dc.contributor.author Drea, Christine M.
dc.contributor.author Davies, Charli S.
dc.contributor.author Greene, Lydia K.
dc.contributor.author Mitchell, Jessica
dc.contributor.author Blondel, Dimitri V.
dc.contributor.author Shearer, Caroline L.
dc.contributor.author Feldblum, Joseph T.
dc.contributor.author Dimac-Stohl, Kristin A.
dc.contributor.author Smyth-Kabay, Kendra N.
dc.contributor.author Clutton-Brock, Tim H.
dc.date.accessioned 2022-09-22T12:58:41Z
dc.date.available 2022-09-22T12:58:41Z
dc.date.issued 2021-12-17
dc.description.abstract Female intrasexual competition can be intense in cooperatively breeding species, with some dominant breeders (matriarchs) limiting reproduction in subordinates via aggression, eviction or infanticide. In males, such tendencies bidirectionally link to testosterone, but in females, there has been little systematic investigation of androgen-mediated behaviour within and across generations. In 22 clans of wild meerkats (Suricata suricatta), we show that matriarchs 1) express peak androgen concentrations during late gestation, 2) when displaying peak feeding competition, dominance behaviour, and evictions, and 3) relative to subordinates, produce offspring that are more aggressive in early development. Late-gestation antiandrogen treatment of matriarchs 4) specifically reduces dominance behaviour, is associated with infrequent evictions, decreases social centrality within the clan, 5) increases aggression in cohabiting subordinate dams, and 6) reduces offspring aggression. These effects implicate androgen-mediated aggression in the operation of female sexual selection, and intergenerational transmission of masculinised phenotypes in the evolution of meerkat cooperative breeding. en_US
dc.description.department Mammal Research Institute en_US
dc.description.librarian am2022 en_US
dc.description.sponsorship The National Science Foundation; European Research Council Grant and Swiss National Science Foundation. en_US
dc.description.uri www.nature.com/naturecommunications en_US
dc.identifier.citation Drea, C.M., Davies, C.S., Greene, L.K. et al. 2021, 'An intergenerational androgenic mechanism of female intrasexual competition in the cooperatively breeding meerkat', Nature Communications, vol. 12, no. 1, art. 7332, pp. 1-11, doi : 10.1038/s41467-021-27496-x. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 2041-1723 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1038/s41467-021-27496-x
dc.identifier.uri https://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/87300
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Nature Publishing Group en_US
dc.rights © The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. en_US
dc.subject Female en_US
dc.subject Breeding en_US
dc.subject Males en_US
dc.subject Offspring en_US
dc.subject Meerkat (Suricata suricatta) en_US
dc.subject Female intrasexual competition en_US
dc.title An intergenerational androgenic mechanism of female intrasexual competition in the cooperatively breeding meerkat en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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