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Scent marking is often assumed to be a secondary sexual trait that increases males' mating and reproductive success, although direct evidence for this hypothesis is lacking. We conducted a study with wild-derived house mice, Mus musculus musculus, to test whether scent marking increases males' reproductive success when females can freely choose between two(More)
Females often show multi-male mating (MMM), but the adaptive functions are unclear. We tested whether female house mice (Mus musculus musculus) show MMM when they can choose their mates without male coercion. We released 32 females into separate enclosures where they could choose to mate with two neighboring males that were restricted to their own(More)
It is often suggested that mate choice enhances offspring immune resistance to infectious diseases. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a study with wild-derived house mice (Mus musculus musculus) in which females were experimentally mated either with their preferred or non-preferred male, and their offspring were infected with a mouse pathogen,(More)
While theoretical studies predict that inducible defences should be fine-tuned according to the qualities of the predator, very few studies have investigated how dangerousness of predators, i.e. the rate at which predators kill prey individuals, affects the strength of phenotypic responses and resulting benefits and costs of induced defences. We performed a(More)
The focus of evolutionary behavioural ecologists has recently turned towards understanding the causes and consequences of behavioural consistency, manifesting either as animal personality (consistency in a single behaviour) or behavioural syndrome (consistency across more behaviours). Behavioural type (mean individual behaviour) has been linked to(More)
While the number of studies reporting the presence of individual behavioral consistency (animal personality, behavioral syndrome) has boomed in the recent years, there is still much controversy about the proximate and ultimate mechanisms resulting in the phenomenon. For instance, direct environmental effects during ontogeny (phenotypic plasticity) as the(More)
Experimental evidence suggests that reproductive interference between heterospecifics can seriously affect individual fitness; support from field studies for such an effect has, however, remained scarce. We studied reproductive interference in 25 natural breeding ponds in an area where two ranid frogs, Rana dalmatina and Rana temporaria, co-occur. The(More)
The theory of life history evolution assumes trade-offs between competing fitness traits such as reproduction, somatic growth, and maintenance. One prediction of this theory is that if large individuals have a higher reproductive success, small/young individuals should invest less in reproduction and allocate more resources in growth than large/old(More)
Reproductive interference can seriously affect the reproductive success of involved individuals and may lead to local exclusion of the competitively inferior species. The components of male competitiveness in direct bodily fights for females have been studied rarely in a heterospecific context. In explosively breeding anuran amphibians, males are often(More)
Defensive toxins are widespread in nature, yet we know little about how various environmental factors shape the evolution of chemical defense, especially in vertebrates. In this study we investigated the natural variation in the amount and composition of bufadienolide toxins, and the relative importance of ecological factors in predicting that variation, in(More)