Sex-specific differences in offspring personalities across the laying order in magpies Pica pica

Rokka, Kaisa and Pihlaja, Marjo and Siitari, Heli and Soulsbury, Carl (2014) Sex-specific differences in offspring personalities across the laying order in magpies Pica pica. Behavioural Processes, 107 . pp. 79-87. ISSN 0376-6357

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Abstract

Maternal effects provide an important mechanism for mothers to create variation in offspring personality, and to potentially influence offspring life history strategies e.g. creating more/less dispersive phenotypes.However, within-clutch maternal effects often vary and hence there is potential for within-clutch varia-tion in personality. We studied the effects of hatching order on explorative and neophobic behaviour of the magpies Pica pica in relation to sex using novel environment and novel object experiments. Hatching order did affect explorative behaviour in magpie, but did so in opposite directions for either sex. First-hatched females were more explorative and had a tendency to be less neophobic, whereas in males, the reverse was true. Our results suggest that hormonal as well as post-natal environmental mechanisms could be underpinning this pattern. Future research is needed to fully understand the importance of both in creating different offspring personalities.

Keywords:Pica pica, personality, maternal effects, Exploration behaviour, Hormones, Hatching asynchrony, NotOAChecked
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:14834
Deposited On:09 Sep 2014 14:41

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