Title
Yolk androgen deposition without an energetic cost for female rockhopper penguins : a compensatory strategy to accelerate brood reduction?Yolk androgen deposition without an energetic cost for female rockhopper penguins : a compensatory strategy to accelerate brood reduction?
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Research group
Behavioural Ecology & Ecophysiology
Publication type
article
Publication
London,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Biology letters / Royal Society [London] - London
Volume/pages
7(2011):4, p. 605-607
ISSN
1744-9561
ISI
000292639100036
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Whether androgen deposition in eggs is physiologically costly for female birds has remained a crucial but unsolved question, despite a broad use of this assumption in functional studies. We tested whether females depositing high androgen concentrations experienced higher mass losses than females depositing low androgen concentrations. Analysing female body mass change during egg formation in rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome chrysocome), we observed no energetic cost to androgen deposition. Nevertheless, lighter females laid eggs with higher yolk androgen concentrations. This relationship existed only for the second-laid egg (B-egg), but not for the first-laid egg (A-egg). Since the B-egg is usually the first to hatch and the only one to produce a fledging chick, we hypothesize that differential yolk androgen deposition may be an adaptive strategy for females to affect brood reduction.
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