Can females gain additional paternal investment by mating with multiple males? a game theoretic approach

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Publication Type Journal Article
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Anthropology
Creator McElreath, Richard
Other Author Soltis, Joseph
Title Can females gain additional paternal investment by mating with multiple males? a game theoretic approach
Date 2001-11
Description Although females may require only one mating to become inseminated, many female animals engage in costly mating with multiple males. One potential benefit of polyandrous mating is gaining parental investment from multiple males. We developed two game theoretic models to explore this possibility. Our first model showed that male care of multiple females' offspring evolves when male help substantially increases offspring fitness, future mating opportunity is limited, and group size is small. In our second model, we assumed that males invest in the offspring of former mates and evaluated the fitness consequences of female monogamous and polyandrous mating strategies. Females benefit only from limited polyandry, that is, mating with several males. Polyandry is discouraged because females must share male investment with other polyandrous females, and paternal care is likely to experience diminishing returns. Females may enhance their access to male investment by competing with rival females and monopolizing investment, however. The results support the argument that females can gain paternal investment by mating with several males in small social groups (e.g., dunnocks Prunella modularis). The results do not support the argument that females can gain paternal investment from pronounced multiple mating in large social groups, however, as observed in many primate species.
Type Text
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Journal Title The American Naturalist
Volume 158
Issue 5
First Page 519
Last Page 529
DOI 10.1086/323117
citatation_issn 0003-0147
Subject Female multiple mating; Polyandry; Nonprocreative mating; Paternal investment; Mating benefits; Mating strategy
Subject LCSH Sexual behavior in animals; Polyandry
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation Soltis, J. & McElreath, R. (2001). Can females gain additional paternal investment by mating with multiple males? a game theoretic approach. American Naturalist, 158(5),1519-29.
Rights Management (c) University of Chicago Press http://dx.doi.org DOI: 10.1086/323117
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 133,238 Bytes
Identifier ir-main,4881
ARK ark:/87278/s6x92vht
Setname ir_uspace
Date Created 2012-06-13
Date Modified 2012-06-13
ID 703566
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6x92vht