Document Detail

Sibling competition in a brood-tending leech.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16959636     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Conflict among siblings over parental investment, particularly over parental feeding, is a feature of family life in many kinds of animals. In some bird species, the size of prey items provided to juveniles has been implicated as a cause of aggressive competition among sibling chicks, because prey size determines whether dominance allows monopolization of parental offerings. Our experiment was meant to test the generality of this factor in creating intrafamilial conflict. We investigated sibling competition in relation to prey size using the carnivorous, brood-tending leech Helobdella papillornata. We equalized the total amount of food available to H. papillornata broods, but varied the size of individual prey items. Competition, measured by disparity in body size at independence, was more intense in broods provisioned with small items than in broods receiving large items, but similar between broods receiving large items and broods fed ad libitum. These patterns suggest that the intensity of conflict did not depend only on the total food amount, but was enhanced by small prey size. Our results indicate that conflict over the provision of parental resources to offspring can have a similar basis across very dissimilar organisms.
Martin Burd; Fredric R Govedich; Laura Bateson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society     Volume:  273     ISSN:  0962-8452     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2006 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-09-08     Completed Date:  2007-01-16     Revised Date:  2010-09-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101245157     Medline TA:  Proc Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2461-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria 3800, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Body Size
Competitive Behavior*
Feeding Behavior
Leeches / physiology*
Sibling Relations*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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