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Data from: Differences in sibling cooperation in presence and absence of parental care in a genus with interspecific variation in offspring dependence

Citation

Prang, Madlen; Zywucki, Lena; Körner, Maximilian; Steiger, Sandra (2021), Data from: Differences in sibling cooperation in presence and absence of parental care in a genus with interspecific variation in offspring dependence, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.q573n5tjz

Abstract

The widely spread evolutionary strategy of parental care is considered an important driver of social evolution. While offspring were long thought to primarily interact competitively, recent studies revealed the potential importance of sibling cooperation. Theories suggest that the degree of cooperation in offspring interactions depends on the degree of offspring dependence on parental care: offspring unable to forage on their own should compete more, whereas more independent juveniles may increase the degree of cooperation. In this study, we tested the occurrence of sibling cooperation in the absence of post-hatching care in several burying beetle species exhibiting varying degrees of offspring dependence. To this end, we measured larval growth rate and survival in the presence and absence of pre-hatching care using different brood sizes. We found that sibling cooperation cannot be exclusively explained by offspring dependence on parental care. While only species with more independent larvae cooperated when receiving pre-hatching care, larval cooperation occurred across species in the absence of care. The latter result suggests that sibling cooperation was already present in an early ancestor of the genus Nicrophorus. Overall, these findings give important insights into the transition from facultative to obligate family life.

Methods

This excel file contains data from the laboratory described in the article. 

Usage Notes

This is the data file associated with the cooperation experiment. Please check the first sheet in the file for further details regarding the individual columns. The second sheet contains the data for the experiment.

Funding

German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), Award: STE 1874/6-1