Toothed whales called Odontocetes are mammals that form close social bonds, most often along matriarchal lines, and it is therefore not surprising that an infant’s death can be traumatic for a mother. Many observations of different species show similar behaviours of mothers whose calves have died. Most frequently, these include carrying the calf on their backs. She will drape her calf over the anterior part of her back, close to the dorsal fin, and she’ll
Female house mice (Mus musculus) adjust the “fertilizability” of their ova depending on the social conditions in which they were reared. Females are thus able to physiologically alter the external properties of their eggs to make them more or less fertilizable by sperm. Let’s stop and think about that for a few minutes. Photo via Adobe Stock First, why would a female want to alter the fertilizability of her ova? Ovary defensiveness is one mechanism

February 3, 2021

Offspring Favouritism

While many human parents will assure their children they do not have a favourite, in the animal kingdom, moms may provide different levels of care for their offspring. Strong Offspring Get Fed Spotted hyena moms allow their cubs to duke it out for access to their teats. They will often allow an aggressive pup to edge its sibling out of a meal time and time again until it starves to death. If resources are scarce,
Among the most supported hypotheses for milk sharing between females is the kin selection hypothesis. This states that mothers are more likely to share these expensive resources with the offspring of close relatives. One’s overall inclusive fitness can be increased by providing sustenance to related newborns. This kind of action is observable in collective breeders like meerkats and mongooses, in which many of the females providing the allonursing service are doing so for the offspring
Evolution should select for individuals that employ ways of discerning members of their own species from any others. Reproductive success of those engaing in sex with organisms of another species should therefore be drastically reduced. The “lock-and-key” hypothesis holds that there is only one specific key (male genitals) that fits inside a certain lock (female genitals). While this theory isn’t without its own controversies, there are many examples where it holds true.  In the case
Updated March 3 with the winner! I love seeing the nature photos you share with me, and thought it might be fun to run a photo contest! If this goes well it may be something we do a few times! For this contest, our category is “In The Snow.” Share your nature or animal photos taken in a winter wonderland! Submitted photos do not need to be recent captures. Photo via Adobe Stock How to
It is commonly accepted that elephants are extremely intelligent and curious animals, capable of complex social interactions. Photo via Adobe Stock Recorded events have clearly demonstrated that elephants are intensely curious of other elephant corpses at varying states of decay. Mourning has been observed in response to conspecific deaths (members of the same species), and it most often involves investigation of the corpse and a display of agitation and trumpeting. The specifics of a mother