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Adaptations and strategies for paternal care in a desert-dwelling fish.
University of Kalmar, School of Pure and Applied Natural Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1426-0036
2009 (English)Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Parental care enhances offspring development and survival, but also imposes costs to the caring parent by reducing, for example, future reproduction. This is especially true in species with paternal care, that is, where the male cares for the offspring. Both anatomical and behavioural adaptations are expected to have evolved in order to economize paternal care. The Australian desert goby is a sexually dimorphic species that expresses exclusive paternal care. Males have larger pectoral fins relative to females, possibly to assist in the fanning of the eggs. Males also strategically adjust their parental effort to maximise their fitness. In laboratory experiments, we found that males with larger fins fanned at a lower frequency. The presence of ready-to-spawn females led to a reduction in paternal care effort suggesting a temporal trade-off between care of existing eggs and courtship of additional females. In addition, both the degree and type of filial cannibalism was related to the size of the clutch, and, therefore, female quality. Our results suggest that desert gobies have evolved both morphological adaptations and behavioural strategies to balance the costs and benefits of paternal care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Coffs Harbour, 2009.
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Natural Science, Aquatic Ecology; Natural Science, Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-18799OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-18799DiVA: diva2:527885
Conference
Australasian Evolution Society
Available from: 2012-05-22 Created: 2012-05-22 Last updated: 2016-05-03Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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