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Factors affecting male-male competition in thirteen-lined ground squirrels

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Summary

Intrasexual conflict and mating behavior were observed in a population of thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus). Success in male-male competition was related strongly to male weight, whereas both the weight and age of males were correlated positively with estimated mating success.

Between-season fluctuations in the density of reproductive males were analyzed in terms of their effects on the population's operational sex ratio (OSR). Changes in the OSR corresponded with changes in behavioral aspects of sexual selection: when the OSR became less male-biased, intrasexual confliet was reduced, sexual interference declined, and males essentially had unrestricted access to estrous females. Opportunities for female choice likewise became limited as estrous females rarely were approached by more than one male.

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Schwagmeyer, P.L., Brown, C.H. Factors affecting male-male competition in thirteen-lined ground squirrels. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 13, 1–6 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00295069

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Keywords

  • Sexual Selection
  • Mating Success
  • Mating Behavior
  • Ground Squirrel
  • Female Choice