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Data From: Breeders are less active foragers than non-breeders in wild Damaraland mole-rats

Citation

Francioli, Yannick et al. (2020), Data From: Breeders are less active foragers than non-breeders in wild Damaraland mole-rats, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8931zcrnm

Abstract

Eusocial insect societies are characterised by a clear division of labour between non-breeding workers and breeding queens and queens often do not contribute to foraging, defence and other maintenance tasks. It has been suggested that the structure and organisation of social mole-rat groups resembles that of eusocial insect societies. However, the division of labour has rarely been investigated in wild mole-rats and it is unknown whether breeders show decreased foraging activity compared to non-breeding helpers in natural groups. Here we show that, in wild Damaraland mole-rats (Fukomys damarensis), breeding males and females show lower activity in foraging areas than non-breeding group members. Both breeders and non-breeders displayed variation in activity across the different seasons. Our results suggest that group living allows social mole-rat breeders to reduce their investment in energetically costly and potentially risky foraging tasks which could contribute to the extended life-span of breeding individuals in this species and other social mole-rats.

Funding

Vetenskapsrådet, Award: 2017-05296

Crafoordska Stiftelsen, Award: 2018-2259

H2020 European Research Council, Award: 294,494,742,808