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|Psychology Journal Articles
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|Life history costs of olfactory status signalling in mice
|Gosling, L Morris
Roberts, S Craig
Thornton, E A
Andrew, M J
life history costs
|Gosling LM, Roberts SC, Thornton EA & Andrew MJ (2000) Life history costs of olfactory status signalling in mice. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 48 (4), pp. 328-332. https://doi.org/10.1007/s002650000242
|Large body size confers a competitive advantage in animal contests but does not always determine the outcome. Here we explore the trade-off between short-term achievement of high social status and longer-term life history costs in animals which vary in competitive ability. Using laboratory mice, Mus musculus, as a model system, we show that small competitors can initially maintain dominance over larger males by increasing investment in olfactory status signalling (scent-marking), but only at the cost of reduced growth rate and body size. As a result they become more vulnerable to dominance reversals later in life. Our results also provide the first empirical information about life history costs of olfactory status signals.
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