Paper 5 Discussion Question

Since females invest more into the brood than males, do you think that if we tested females who have a decreased fitness they would still choose to invest more into offspring care rather than self-care (meaning spending more time with feeding and drinking rather than parental care)? And if so, would that influence the male’s parental care through the lack of parental care social cues?

5 thoughts on “Paper 5 Discussion Question

  1. I think It depends. Its not really clear if you want to know about BR treated or control birds, but i think if its about the BR birds they would Still care less and eat more. As for control birds i dont know if the male would take over the duties of the female because We (at least I)dont know What cues trigger increased parental behaviour in male zebra finches

  2. I think that BR will have a similar effect on the females tested, irrespective of their fitness. So if these females were treated with BR, I would expect them to invest more in self-care than parental care. If the male did not undergo the same BR treatment, I think he might provide more social care to try to compensate for the female’s behaviour.

  3. My first question here is what do we mean by “females who have decreased fitness”?
    I think that as BR practically eliminates parental care behaviors (so increases self-care) it would not really matter what is the female’s condition.
    As PRL, parental behavior and parental care social cues are related, it is possible that the female’s changed behavior have an effect on the male’s parental behavior. But as they dont only perceive cues from the breeding partner but also the chicks, it might be enough to maintain normal parental care behaviors

  4. What do you mean by decreased fitness? Do we challenge them in a way, or manipulate something, or do we just choose the females with the smallest brood?
    The key to the first question is individual optimalisation. For example if we remove chicks from the brood, then the female has the same resources for less chicks, so they might spend more time on themselves, regardless of BR treatment. If we pair that with BR treatment, then self-care should increase more. If we choose the worst quality females, with the naturally small broods, and give them BR treatment, then I can imagine two scenarios: 1) they already are in bad shape, so BR treatment will induce self-care, 2) the treatment won’t affect anything, because a smaller “fitness pie’s” slices are staying small, whether they get bigger or smaller (statistical significance will depend on sample size).
    It’s been shown in many birds, that males are not always care about how much their partner cares about the offsprings. If we assume that there is some kind of assortative mating based on individual quality, then the males might not be able to increase their chick-care.

  5. Based on the study, it seems that bromocriptine has an effect on parental behavior, respectively on behaviors connected with parental care. In this regard, if the birds are tested/treated with BR, result to have more time spending in their self-care (feeding and drinking), thus, avoiding the chicks care. If we test or treat females with low fitness, then the treatment effect with BR will not change. The male’s parental care does not change from the female one, because the Zebra finches parental care is equal, regardless of whether the females invest more in their little ones.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.