Markus Zöttl

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Environmental factors can determine which group size will maximize the fitness of group members. This is particularly important in cooperative breeders, where group members often serve different purposes. Experimental studies are yet lacking to check whether ecologically mediated need for help will change the propensity of dominant group members to accept(More)
Alloparental brood care, where individuals help raising the offspring of others, is generally believed to be favoured by high degrees of relatedness between helpers and recipients. Here we show that in cooperatively breeding cichlids, unrelated subordinate females provide more alloparental care than related ones when kinship between dominant and subordinate(More)
In cooperative breeding systems, dominant breeders sometimes tolerate unrelated individuals even if they inflict costs on the dominants. According to the 'pay-to-stay' hypothesis, (i) subordinates can outweigh these costs by providing help and (ii) dominants should be able to enforce help by punishing subordinates that provide insufficient help. This(More)
Invasive alien parasites and pathogens are a growing threat to biodiversity worldwide, which can contribute to the extinction of endemic species. On the Galápagos Islands, the invasive parasitic fly Philornis downsi poses a major threat to the endemic avifauna. Here, we investigated the influence of this parasite on the breeding success of two Darwin's(More)
Aim. The quantitative genetics underlying correlated behavioural traits (''animal personality") have hitherto been studied mainly in domesticated animals. Here we report the repeatability (R) and heritability (h(2)) of behavioural types in the highly social cichlid fish Neolamprologus pulcher. Methods. We tested 1779 individuals repeatedly and calculated(More)
In cooperative breeders, sexually mature subordinates can either queue for chances to inherit the breeding position in their natal group, or disperse to reproduce independently. The choice of one or the other option may be flexible, as when individuals respond to attractive dispersal options, or they may reflect fixed life-history trajectories. Here, we(More)
In many cooperative breeders, the contributions of helpers to cooperative activities change with age, resulting in age-related polyethisms. In contrast, some studies of social mole rats (including naked mole rats, Heterocephalus glaber, and Damaraland mole rats, Fukomys damarensis) suggest that individual differences in cooperative behavior are the result(More)
Please cite this article in press as: Zöttl, M., et of alloparental care, Animal Behaviour (201 In cooperative breeders, where nonparents participate in brood care, the investment of contributors to offspring care is predicted to be interdependent, reflecting a conflict of fitness interests between care providers. We experimentally manipulated the(More)
Socio-demographic factors, such as group size and their effect on predation vulnerability, have, in addition to intrinsic factors, dominated as explanations when attempting to understand animal vigilance behaviour. It is generally assumed that animals evaluate these external factors visually; however, many socially foraging species adopt a foraging(More)
In some eusocial insect societies, adaptation to the division of labour results in multimodal size variation among workers. It has been suggested that variation in size and growth among non-breeders in naked and Damaraland mole-rats may similarly reflect functional divergence associated with different cooperative tasks. However, it is unclear whether(More)
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