Rank-related maternal effects of androgens on behaviour in wild spotted hyaenas

  title={Rank-related maternal effects of androgens on behaviour in wild spotted hyaenas},
  author={Stephanie M. Dloniak and Jeffrey A. French and Kay E. Holekamp},
Within any hierarchical society, an individual's social rank can have profound effects on its health and reproductive success, and rank-related variation in these traits is often mediated by variation in endocrine function. [] Key Result Furthermore, both male and female cubs born to mothers with high concentrations of androgens in late pregnancy exhibit higher rates of aggression and mounting behaviour than cubs born to mothers with lower androgen concentrations. Both behaviours are strongly affected in…

The Role of Androgenic Steroids in Shaping Social Phenotypes Across the Lifespan in Male Marmosets (Callithrix spp.)

  • J. French
  • Biology, Medicine
    American journal of primatology
  • 2013
A complex picture of lifetime involvement of androgens in shaping marmoset phenotypes is suggested, as changes in androgens as males approach puberty are similar to the conventional primate pattern, and unlike in female marmosets, gonadal steroidogenesis appears to be independent of social context.

Maternal effects on offspring social status in spotted hyenas

It is demonstrated that the rank of adopted offspring at adulthood was similar to that of their surrogate mother and that the competitive ability of offspring at adults was best explained by postnatal maternal behavioral support.

A heritable androgenic mechanism of female intrasexual competition in cooperatively breeding meerkats

It is shown that matriarchs express peak androgen concentrations during late gestation, when displaying peak feeding competition, dominance, and evictions, and relative to subordinates, produce offspring that are more aggressive in early development, implicate androgen-mediated aggression in the operation of female sexual selection, and intergenerational transmission of ‘masculinised’ phenotypes in the evolution of meerkat cooperative breeding.

Egg hormones in a highly fecund vertebrate: do they influence offspring social structure in competitive conditions?

Variation in the amount of cortisol deposited in eggs by spawning females influences juvenile social status and performance, suggesting a widespread mechanism for the effects of maternal stress on offspring.



Rank and reproduction in the female spotted hyaena.

Female reproductive success varies with social rank in many gregarious mammals, including primates, ungulates and carnivores, and fertility among high-ranking females appeared to be less vulnerable to fluctuations in the food supply than was that among low- ranking females.

Sex differences in yolk hormones depend on maternal social status in Leghorn chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus)

It is shown that it is very unlikely that androgen concentrations alone are the decisive part of the sex–determining mechanism, and sex–specific differences in the yolk hormones strongly depend on the social rank of the mother, and the social status of a hen was indeed negatively correlated with her maternal capacities.

Maternal testosterone in tree swallow eggs varies with female aggression

In tree swallows, Tachycineta bicolor, it is found that yolk testosterone was correlated with the aggressive interactions of the female before and during egg laying and did not vary with laying order in tree swallow.

Exposure to naturally circulating androgens during foetal life incurs direct reproductive costs in female spotted hyenas, but is prerequisite for male mating

It is demonstrated that the reproductive costs of clitoral delivery result from exposure of the female foetus to naturally circulating androgens, and the same androgens that render an extremely unusual and laborious process even more reproductively costly in the female are apparently essential to the male's physical ability to reproduce with a normally masculinized female.

Maternal androgens in black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus) eggs: consequences for chick development

We tested the hypothesis that mother birds counterbalance the negative effects of hatching asynchrony for later–hatched chicks by increasing the yolk androgen concentrations in consecutive eggs of

Ontogeny of dominance in free-living spotted hyaenas: juvenile rank relations with adult females and immigrant males

The ontogeny of rank relationships between juveniles and adults was examined in a clan of free-living spotted hyaenas and Dispersal appeared to precipitate a dramatic decline in the social status of males.

Yolk is a source of maternal testosterone for developing birds.

  • H. Schwabl
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1993
These findings indicate that female songbirds can bestow upon their eggs a dose of hormone that modifies the behavior of offspring, suggesting that variable doses of these hormones might explain some of the individual variation in offspring behavior.