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Data from: Relatedness and age reduce aggressive male interactions over mating in domestic fowl

Citation

Rosher, Charlotte; Favati, Anna; Dean, Rebecca; Lovlie, Hanne (2017), Data from: Relatedness and age reduce aggressive male interactions over mating in domestic fowl, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.0h190

Abstract

Altruistic behaviour represents a fundamental challenge in evolutionary biology. It is often best understood through kin selection, where favourable behaviour is directed towards relatives. Kin selection can take place when males cooperate to enhance the reproductive success of relatives. Here, we focus on reduced male–male competition over mating as a case of cooperation, by examining male tolerance of matings by related and unrelated competitors. A suitable model for exploring whether relatedness affects male–male interactions over mating is the domestic fowl, Gallus gallus domesticus. In this species, males form social hierarchies and dominant males commonly interrupt subdominant males’ copulation attempts. We investigated whether dominant male fowl differentially direct aggressive interactions towards unrelated and related subordinate males during mating attempts. Dominant male fowl were found to interrupt mating attempts of male relatives less often than those of unrelated males. We further tested whether male age mediates the magnitude of kin tolerance behaviour. However, we found no support for this as both young and old dominant males were less likely to interrupt related, compared to unrelated, subdominant males’ copulations during male–male interactions. Our results, consistent with kin selection, provide a rare experimental demonstration of relatedness relaxing male–male competition over mating.

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