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J Comp Psychol. 2003 Sep;117(3):317-24.

Paternal care in the social and diurnal striped mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio): laboratory and field evidence.

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Ecophysiological Studies Research Group, School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.


Paternal care is rare in mammals, occurring mainly in carnivores and neotropical primates, in which the difficulties of long generation time and large individuals lead to small sample sizes. Here, the authors show that paternal care can be easily studied in the four-striped mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio) because (a) captive males show all the patterns of parental care as do females, with the obvious exception of nursing; (b) in the field, wild males act amicably toward juveniles and retrieve pups experimentally presented to them; (c) the striped mouse facilitates experimental approaches in captivity because it has a short generation period and can be kept in large numbers; and (d) the striped mouse is diurnal, not only making observations in captivity easier but also enabling direct observations in the field.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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