Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Male-mediated prenatal loss: functions and mechanisms

Citation

Zipple, Matthew, N.; Roberts, Eila K.; Alberts, Susan C.; Beehner, Jacinta C. (2019), Data from: Male-mediated prenatal loss: functions and mechanisms, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.h6980d8

Abstract

Sexually selected infanticide has been the subject of intense empirical and theoretical study for decades; a related phenomenon, male-mediated prenatal loss, has received much less attention in evolutionary studies. Male-mediated prenatal loss occurs when inseminated or pregnant females terminate reproductive effort following exposure to a non-sire male, either through implantation failure or pregnancy termination. Male-mediated prenatal loss encompasses two sub-phenomena: sexually selected feticide and the Bruce effect. In this review, we lay out a framework that explains the relationship between feticide and the Bruce effect and describes what is currently known about the proximate and ultimate mechanisms involved in each. Using a simple model, we demonstrate that male-mediated prenatal loss can provide greater reproductive benefits to males than infanticide. We therefore suggest that, compared to infanticide, male-mediated prenatal loss may be more prevalent in mammalian species and may have played a greater role in their social evolution than has previously been documented.

Usage Notes