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Can “friendship” predict paternity in males?

Can “friendship” predict paternity in males? Male and female house mice form stronger social bonds based on the likelihood of paternity

In most mammals, males tend to assure their reproductive success by defending access to adult females (i.e. mate guarding). This defence of receptive females creates competition to mate with females, and makes male-male interaction competitive and have a lack of tolerance. However, mate guarding strategies do not always pay off, especially when the number of receptive females is high or when the fertility status of the females is not reliable. Due to these conditions, males have to adopt alternative strategies, such as forming "friendships" with females, which provides mutual benefit for males and females, increasing their pup survival and males´ paternity certainty. In this chapter of my master thesis, I used a dataset from a free-living population of house mice, Mus musculus domesticus, and using social network tools, I analyzed how the operational sex ratio (OSR) of their group and male-female associations would predict and affect male paternity.

A càrrec de Luis Fernandez, University of Zurich, Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies

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