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Title:Original Evidence For Monogamous Behavior in the Prairie Vole
Author(s):Getz, Lowell L.; Carter, C. Sue
Subject(s):prairie vole
social organization
Abstract:Because the prairie vole, Microtus ochrogaster, displays monogamous social behavior, the has become an unprecedented model organism for basic and translational research focusing on the biology of the human social brain, including autism, schizophrenia and alcoholism (McGraw, L. A. and Young, L. J. 2009. The prairie vole: an emerging model organism for understanding the social brain. Trends In Neuroscience. 33: 103-109). Until the late 1970s, the prairie vole was assumed to display a promiscuous mating system, as do other microtine rodents. Analysis of data from a demographic study of population fluctuations of the prairie vole and meadow vole, M. pennsylvanicus, (Getz, L. L., Hofmann, J. E., McGuire, B., and Dolan, T. III. 2001. Twenty-five years of population fluctuations of Microtus ochrogaster and M. pennsylvanicus in three habitats in east-central Illinois. Journal of Mammalogy. 82: 22-34.) provided evidence of behavioral monogamy in prairie vole populations. Laboratory observational and neuro-hormonal studies provided additional evidence of monogamous behavior in prairie voles. These original observations were published in a small journal published by the biology honorary society, Phi Sigma Society, (Getz, L. L. and Carter, C. S. 1980. Social Organization in Microtus ochrogaster populations. The Biologist. 62: 56-69). The original observations, augmented by additional data, later were published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (Getz, L. L., Carter, C. S. and Gavish, L. 1981. The Mating System of the Prairie Vole, Microtus ochrogaster: Field and Laboratory Evidence for Pair-Bonding. 8: 18-194). An additional field study (Hofmann, J. E., Getz, L. L. and Gavish, L. 1984. Home Range Overlap and Nest Cohabitation of Male and Female Prairie Voles. The American Midland Naturalist. 112:314-319) confirmed cohabitation of a single nest of and sharing of a common home range by adult male and female prairie voles. These four papers documented the first evidence for monogamous behavior in the prairie vole. The Biologist ceased publication in 1981. Few libraries carried the journal and holdings of The Biologist most likely are now relegated to deep storage and are unavailable on-line. Although the original data were later published in a journal accessible on-line, to make available the time line of observations leading to the current widespread usage of prairie voles as a major research animal, I am placing the original article from The Biologist in the University of Illinois electronic archives. Here it will be accessible on-line.
Issue Date:2017-03-20
Publisher:Phi Sigma Society
Citation Info:Getz, L. L. and Carter, C. S. 1980. Social Organization in Microtus ochrogaster populations. The Biologist. 62: 56-69.
Rights Information:Text Copyright by Lowell L. Getz. All Rights Reserved
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-04-03

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