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Aardwolf mating system overt cuckoldry in an apparently monogamous mammal



Aardwolf mating system overt cuckoldry in an apparently monogamous mammal



South African Journal of Science 83(7): 405-410



It is generally believed that in any monogamous species, according to evolutionary theory, males should attempt to maximize their reproductive success by being promiscuous, when such opportunities arise. Similarly, it is an even more fundamental principle that monogamous males vigorously guard oestrous females in order to avoid being cuckolded. This competition for mating opportunities is particularly evident in birds, as seen in numerous records of attempted and forced extra-pair copulations, particularly in waterfowl. Nevertheless, records of true-cuckoldry.sbd.raising of another unrelated male's offspring as a result of promiscuous matings.sbd.include only a few examples of birds, and none of mammals (except man). The aardwolf is an apparently monogamous mammal that practices regular promiscuous matings, as a result of which some males would appear to be cuckolding their neighbours. The conflicting interests and the reproductive consequences for males and females are considered in terms of this mating system.

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Accession: 004643703

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