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Opposing offspring sex ratio variations with increasing age and weight in mouflon mothers (Ovis musimon).

Authors
  • Landete-Castillejos, T
  • Garcia, A
  • Langton, S
  • Inglis, I
  • Gallego, L
  • Garde, J
Type
Published Article
Journal
Acta veterinaria Hungarica
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2001
Volume
49
Issue
3
Pages
257–268
Identifiers
PMID: 11708289
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

There are two main theories explaining offspring sex biases in polygynous mammals. Trivers and Willard (1973) argue that mothers with greater reproductive resources should invest in the sex with the greater variance in reproductive success, usually sons. In contrast, because daughters in many polygynous mammals stay with their mother and compete with her for food, Local Resource Competition theory (e.g. Clark, 1978; Silk, 1983) predicts that the mothers with the greatest reproductive resources should invest in daughters. We investigated the strategy of sex allocation of a captive, outdoor population of 139 mouflon mothers, Ovis musimon, kept in a game state. A complex picture emerged in which, despite weight and body condition being correlated with age in female mouflons, mothers lambed more daughters with increasing age but also, within a given age, gave birth to more sons with increasing weight. Results may be useful in game management aimed at increasing the recruitment or quality of males in managed populations.

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