Dr Phillip Byrne, from Monash University's School of Biological Sciences, has researched the frog species Bibron's toadlet (Pseudophryne bibronii) for six years and in this latest field trip, discovered a new behaviour undetected in a frog species until now.
"Our study revealed that females made the active decision to distribute their eggs between the nests of up to eight different males," Dr Byrne said.
Dr Byrne led the study, which involved Professor Scott Keogh from Australian National University, in an area at Jervis Bay National Park on the New South Wales south coast .
They worked overnight shifts from 6 pm to 6 am, seven days a week for over four months and kept track of almost 100 frogs.
Using DNA markers Dr Byrne found females that distributed their available eggs between the nests of more males, as opposed to leaving them in one nest, had elevated offspring survival, presumably by insuring against nest failure.
"Traditionally it was thought that males, but not females, should benefit from promiscuous behaviour because males generally invest less in reproduction. This level of promiscuity is a new record among vertebrates and certainly supports the old adage of not putting all your eggs in the one basket," Dr Byrne said.
"Our study advances our understanding of female promiscuity by being the first to show that promiscuous females can safeguard against choosing fathers that provide poor homes for their offspring.
"It is becoming increasingly apparent that females in many animal species choose to mate with multiple partners as a safeguard against choosing a genetically inferior sire, but insurance against a father who provides a lousy home is a novel and potentially widespread explanation for the evolution of female promiscuity," Dr Byrne said.
The Pseudophryne bibronii is brown to black in colour and at just 30mm in length is one of the smaller frog species in Australia. It can be found along the eastern states of Australia and lives in forests, heathlands and grasslands.
Samantha Blair | EurekAlert!
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy