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Social and mating system of cooperatively breeding laughing kookaburras (Dacelo novaeguineae)

Legge, Sarah; Cockburn, Andrew

Description

DNA fingerprinting was combined with field observations over four breeding seasons to investigate the social structure and mating system of the laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae). Groups comprised a socially dominant pair and up to six helpers of either sex. Helpers were always recruited from young hatched in the group. Territorial inheritance, which is a feature of other cooperative breeders and an oft-cited benefit of philopatry, did not occur. Helpers only attained dominant status in...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorLegge, Sarah
dc.contributor.authorCockburn, Andrew
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-13T23:21:05Z
dc.identifier.issn0340-5443
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/91019
dc.description.abstractDNA fingerprinting was combined with field observations over four breeding seasons to investigate the social structure and mating system of the laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae). Groups comprised a socially dominant pair and up to six helpers of either sex. Helpers were always recruited from young hatched in the group. Territorial inheritance, which is a feature of other cooperative breeders and an oft-cited benefit of philopatry, did not occur. Helpers only attained dominant status in an established group by dispersing into a vacant dominant position in that group. However, helpers could also form new groups by excising a new territory, often through a 'budding' process. The mating system was overwhelmingly monogamous. There were no cases of extra-group parentage in a sample of 140 nestlings; within groups of three or more birds, dominance predicted parentage almost perfectly (99.2% of 129 nestlings), irrespective of whether helpers in the group were related to one or both dominant birds. This is contrary to predictions from models of reproductive skew, possibly because they currently fail to incorporate the willingness of females to share reproduction among males.
dc.publisherSpringer
dc.sourceBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
dc.subjectKeywords: budding; DNA fingerprinting; dominant pair; inheritance; mating system; monogamy; philopatry; social structure; cooperative breeding; monogamy; reproductive strategy; social structure; Dacelo novaeguineae Cooperative breeder; DNA fingerprinting; Mating system; Monogamy; Reproductive skew
dc.titleSocial and mating system of cooperatively breeding laughing kookaburras (Dacelo novaeguineae)
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.description.refereedYes
local.identifier.citationvolume47
dc.date.issued2000
local.identifier.absfor060201 - Behavioural Ecology
local.identifier.ariespublicationMigratedxPub21524
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationLegge, Sarah, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationCockburn, Andrew, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage220
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage229
dc.date.updated2015-12-12T09:05:29Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-0034128093
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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