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Data from: Staying with the young enhances the fathers’ attractiveness in burying beetles

Citation

Chemnitz, Johanna; Bagrii, Nadiia; Ayasse, Manfred; Steiger, Sandra (2017), Data from: Staying with the young enhances the fathers’ attractiveness in burying beetles, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vg7h7

Abstract

Studying the relationship between parental and mating effort helps us to understand the evolution of parental care and, consequently, has been the subject of many theoretical and empirical investigations. Using burying beetles as a model, we found no correlation between the intensity of a sexual signal (sex pheromone quantity) and the amount of care provided by males. However, males that were given the opportunity to breed and care for young went on to produce a higher amount of their sexual signal and attracted three times more females in the field than control males that were not given the opportunity to breed. The likely explanation for our finding is that specific aspects of care in burying beetles, that is the defense and preservation of a nutrient rich breeding resource, a small vertebrate cadaver, is not only beneficial for the offspring but also for the adults themselves. Obtaining a good carrion meal possibly enables males to store resources that they can subsequently allocate toward sexual signaling. Collectively, our results highlight that conditions can exist where male participation in brood care has a positive effect on its sexual attractiveness. This in turn might have facilitated the evolution of male assistance in parental care.

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