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It has been well established that carotenoid and melanin pigmentation are often condition-dependent traits in vertebrates. Expression of carotenoid coloration in birds has been shown to reflect pigment intake, food access and parasite load; however, the relative importance of and the potential interactions among these factors have not been previously(More)
Bats should benefit from recognition of their roost-mates when colonies form stable social units that persist over time. We used Y-maze experiments and gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O) to evaluate whether female big brown bats Eptesicus fuscus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) use chemical cues to distinguish among conspecifics. In dual-choice Y-maze(More)
A combination of structural and pigmentary components is responsible for many of the colour displays of animals. Despite the ubiquity of this type of coloration, neither the relative contribution of structures and pigments to variation in such colour displays nor the relative effects of extrinsic factors on the structural and pigment-based components of(More)
1. In mammals, nutrient allocation during lactation is a critical component of maternal care as milk intake promotes juvenile growth and survival, and hence maternal and offspring fitness. 2. Milk composition varies widely across mammals and is hypothesized to have arisen via selection pressures associated with environment, diet and life history. These(More)
Most small mammals support the nutritional requirements of milk production by increasing food intake. However, when nutrient intake is low, maternal body reserves may be mobilized to maintain adequate milk output. We examined patterns of body composition, including dry matter, fat, protein, and mineral content in big brown bats, Eptesicus fuscus, during(More)
Patterns of offspring development reflect the availability of energy and nutrients, limitations on an individual's capacity to use available resources, and tradeoffs between the use of nutrients to support current metabolic demands and tissue growth. To determine if the long period of offspring dependency in bats is associated with the need for an advanced(More)
The rapid spread of the bacterial disease, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), throughout the introduced range of house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) in eastern North America, compared to its slower spread through the native western range, has puzzled researchers and highlights the need to understand the relative differences in health state of finches from both(More)
There is mounting evidence that, across taxa, females breeding in competitive environments tend to allocate more testosterone to their offspring prenatally and these offspring typically have more aggressive and faster-growing phenotypes. To date, no study has determined the mechanisms mediating this maternal effect's influence on offspring phenotype.(More)