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To cope with environmental challenges, organisms have to adjust their behaviours and their physiology to the environmental conditions they face (i.e. allostasis). In vertebrates, such adjustments are often mediated through the secretion of glucocorticoids (GCs) that are well-known to activate and/or inhibit specific physiological and behavioural traits. In(More)
Examination of the selective forces behind the transition from oviparity to viviparity in vertebrates must include an understanding of the relative energy costs of the two reproductive modes. However, interspecific comparisons of reproductive mode are confounded by numerous other inherent differences among the species. Therefore, we compared oxygen(More)
Oxygen consumption of gestating Aspic vipers, Vipera aspis (L.), was strongly dependent on body temperature and mass. Temperature-controlled, mass-independent oxygen consumption did not differ between pregnant and nonpregnant females. Maternal metabolism was not influenced during early gestation by the number of embryos carried but was weakly influenced(More)
Reproduction is energetically expensive for both sexes, but the magnitude of expenditure and its relationship to reproductive success differ fundamentally between males and females. Males allocate relatively little to gamete production and, thus, can reproduce successfully with only minor energy investment. In contrast, females of many species experience(More)
Spontaneous anorexia has been documented in various animal species and is usually associated with activities competing with food intake. In natural conditions, most female aspic vipers (Vipera aspis) stop feeding during the two months of pregnancy. We carried out a simple experiment on 40 pregnant females to determine whether anorexia was obligatory or(More)
Females often manage the high energy demands associated with reproduction by accumulating and storing energy in the form of fat before initiating their reproductive effort. However, fat stores cannot satisfy all reproductive resource demands, which include considerable investment of amino acids (e.g., for the production of yolk proteins or gluconeogenesis).(More)
In many species the high energetic demands of reproduction induce a negative energy balance, and thus females must rely on tissue catabolism to complete the reproductive process. Previous works have shown that both fat and protein are energy resources during prolonged fasting in vertebrates. While many ecological studies on energy costs of reproduction have(More)
Enhanced thermal conditions have been credited as a driving force for the evolution of viviparity, particularly in squamate reptiles, among which it has independently evolved more than 100 times. However, maternal thermoregulation is also a critical component of reproduction in oviparous squamates, for which considerable embryonic development occurs prior(More)
Current reproductive effort typically comes at a cost to future reproductive value by altering somatic function (e.g., growth or self-maintenance). Furthermore, effects of reproduction often depend on both fecundity and stage of reproduction, wherein allocation of resources into additional offspring and/or stages of reproduction results in increased costs.(More)