An­i­mals raised by two par­ents grow bet­ter

The Herald - - NEWS -

AN­I­MALS raised by two par­ents grow bet­ter and have higher sur­vival rates than off­spring reared by a sin­gle male or fe­male, a study has found.

Re­searchers from the uni­ver­si­ties of Glas­gow and Ed­in­burgh stud­ied bury­ing bee­tles and com­pared the sur­vival and growth of the young when they were reared by one or both of their par­ents. It was found that lar­vae reared by par­ents who worked to­gether were larger at the end of the parental care pe­riod than those reared by par­ents who worked alone. The lar­vae reared by two par­ents were also more likely to sur­vive to adult­hood.

The team dis­cov­ered this was the case even though males “ex­ploited” fe­males when co-par­ent­ing.

The study found males and fe­males gave equal care when rais­ing young alone, but when rais­ing young to­gether, males gave less care, forc­ing fe­males to com­pen­sate.

Many species have “bi­parental care”, when par­ents co-op­er­ate to raise off­spring.

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