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The Evolution of Parental Care$
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Nick J. Royle, Per T. Smiseth, and Mathias Kölliker

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199692576

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692576.001.0001

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Patterns of parental care in invertebrates

Patterns of parental care in invertebrates

Chapter:
(p.81) Chapter 5 Patterns of parental care in invertebrates
Source:
The Evolution of Parental Care
Author(s):

Stephen T. Trumbo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692576.003.0005

This chapter examines caregiving that has evolved among numerous independent lineages of invertebrates. Diverse forms of care include the production of trophic eggs, defence, facilitation of feeding, viviparity, nest building, and provisioning of food. Three ecological hypotheses (environmental prime movers, feeding ecology, life history costs of care) and an intrinsic hypothesis (haplodiploidy) have been proposed to understand the origins of care. The comparative approach and modelling have also been employed to understand male vs. female care and transitions between patterns of care. Many examples of exclusive paternal care are related to territorial behaviour and the potential for polygyny. For male parents that carry offspring, it is not clear whether sexual selection or the lack of suitable oviposition sites was the driving force for paternal behaviour. Biparental care originated in competitive environments and appears to be maintained by the need for nest building, and can be stabilized by the co-occurrence of task specialization and behavioural flexibility. There is continuing disagreement over the likelihood of the loss of complex social adaptations such as parental care. Frequent loss of care has been argued most forcefully for maternal guarding behaviour because of the need to reduce the costs to female fecundity. Paternal care and complex provisioning in a nest may be more resistant to loss over evolutionary time. An emerging insight is that microbes are of more than simply a hygienic concern for caregivers. Parents are active managers of the nest, with complex adaptations to enhance benefits and reduce costs from the microbial community.

Keywords:   invertebrates, parental care, nest building, paternal care, biparental care, feeding ecology, task specialization, provisioning

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