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Decreasing parental task specialization promotes conditional cooperation
Journal Contribution - e-publication
How much to invest in parental care and by who remain puzzling questions fomented by a sexual conflict between parents. Negotiation that facilitates coordinated parental behaviour may be key to ease this costly conflict. However, understanding cooperation requires that the temporal and sex-specific variation in parental care, as well as its multivariate nature is considered. Using a biparental bird species and repeated sampling of behavioural activities throughout a major part of reproduction, we show a clear division of tasks between males and females in provisioning, brooding and foraging. Such behavioural specializations fade with increasing nestling age, which stimulates the degree of alternated feeding visits, as a recently promoted form of conditional cooperation. However, such cooperation is thought to benefit offspring development, which is not supported by our data. Thus, from a proximate point of view, conditional cooperation via alternation critically depends on the division of parental tasks, while the ultimate benefits have yet to be shown.
Journal: Scientific reports
Keywords:A1 Journal article
Authors from:Higher Education