Friday, 21 June 2013

Burying beetles: Older males 'make better dads'

Mature males make "better" fathers in burying beetles, a study suggests.

Researchers found older males work harder at parental care and mating compared with younger males.

Older males also maintained their parenting efforts when they were uncertain of their paternity, whereas younger males decreased their activity.

Details of the Exeter University team's findings are published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The research provides new evidence for the theory that older male animals, having less chance of reproducing again, invest more in parental care.

A beetle's world
"One of the biggest puzzles... we're trying to figure out in evolutionary biology is why males care for offspring that aren't their own," said Dr Megan Head from the University of Exeter, explaining why the research team carried out the study.

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