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Data from: Where are all the moms? external fertilization predicts the rise of male parental care in bony fishes

Citation

Wilson, Anthony; Benun Sutton, Frieda (2019), Data from: Where are all the moms? external fertilization predicts the rise of male parental care in bony fishes, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.rv15dv44k

Abstract

Parental care shows remarkable variation across the animal kingdom, but while maternal and biparental care are common in terrestrial organisms, male-only care dominates in aquatic species that provide care. Using the most complete phylogenetic tree of bony fishes to date, we test whether the opportunity for external fertilization in aquatic environments can explain the more frequent evolution of male care in this group. We show that paternal care has evolved at least 30 times independently in fish and is found only in externally fertilizing species. Male care is positively associated with pair spawning, suggesting that confidence in parentage is an important determinant of the evolution of care. Crucially, while female care is constrained by other forms of reproductive investment, male care occurs more frequently when females invest heavily in gamete production. Our results suggest that moving control of fertilization outside of the female reproductive tract raises male confidence in parentage and increases the potential for paternal care, highlighting that in an aquatic environment in which fertilization is external, paternal care is an effective reproductive strategy.

Methods

Literature review (Fishbase, Primary literature)

Scripts and analysis datafiles provided for analyses included in manuscript.

Source datafiles available from the authors upon request, due to CC-BY-NC licensing through Fishbase.

Funding

City University of New York