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Title:Social organization and mating system of free-living prairie voles Microtus ochrogaster: a review
Author(s):Getz, Lowell L.; McGuire, Betty; Carter, C. Sue
Subject(s):Animal behavior
Terrestrial ecology
Behavioral biology
Reproductive system
Abstract:We summarize the social organization and mating system of the prairie vole Microtus ochrogaster as determined from an extensive field study in east-central Illinois, USA. The fundamental social organization of M. ochrogaster consists of communal groups formed from an original male-female pair or single female (usually a survivor of a male-female pair) by addition of philopatric offspring and unrelated adults. Philopatric offspring comprise 70% of additions to the original breeding unit. In addition, most (80%) unrelated adults do not join a family group until at least two philopatric offspring have reached adult age. Thus, formation of communal groups is based on a high level of philopatry. Male-female pairs display traits associated with behavioral monogamy, including sharing a nest and home range, mate-guarding by the male, and paternal behavior (grooming, huddling, and retrieval of young). Members of communal groups also defend the group territory.
Issue Date:2005
Publisher:Current Zoology
Citation Info:Getz, L.L., B. McGuire, C.S. Carter. 2005. Social organization and mating system of free-living prairie voles, Microtus ochrogaster: a review. Acta Zoologica Sinica. 51:178-186.
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed:is peer reviewed
Rights Information:Copyright 2005 Current Zoology
Date Available in IDEALS:2009-12-21

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