Parent-offspring co-adaptation describes the nature of adaptation in animal families. As offspring, individuals are under selection to adapt to the component of the family environment defined by their parents' care, and as parents they are under selection to adapt to the component of the family environment defined by their offspring's traits. This situation leads to particular patterns of selection, termed correlational selection, that favour particular combinations of parental care and offspring traits that convert care into offspring fitness. This chapter describes current models of parent-offspring co-adaptation, discusses sources of correlational selection in interactions among family members, and puts parent-offspring co-adaptation and conflict resolution models into the wider perspective of the evolution of parental care. It then describes experimental approaches for studying parent-offspring co-adaptation and reviews the experimental evidence supporting parent-offspring co-adaptation, which ranges from evidence at the level of phenotypes to specific gene loci and epigenetic signatures. It concludes by arguing that parent-offspring co-adaptation is a key component in the evolution of parental care and proposes novel avenues for theoretical and experimental research.
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