Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Like their pregnant mates, primate dads-to-be pack on pounds

01.02.2006


Confirming what many have long suspected, scientists have found that male monkeys of two different species get heavier when their mates are pregnant.



The roughly 10 percent gain in male girth occurs in common marmosets and cotton-top tamarins, both squirrel-sized primates known for their monogamous lifestyles and devotion to good parenting.

Since marmoset and tamarin dads are heavily involved in infant care, they may be stocking up on pounds during pregnancy in preparation for the rigors of fatherhood, says Toni Ziegler, an endocrinologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s National Primate Research Center. Ziegler and her colleagues reported their findings today in the journal Biology Letters.


The knowledge that expecting primate fathers also experience biological changes can help scientists better understand what governs human fathering behavior, Ziegler adds. "We’re interested in what motivates dads to be good parents because there are so many men who just aren’t good fathers. This work could help to tease apart what makes a good dad."

In the last few decades, scientists have noted weight gain and other symptoms of pregnancy in human men too, but the phenomenon has never been systematically studied. Known as the "couvades" effect-from the French word meaning "to incubate or hatch" - researchers have generally explained sympathetic pregnancy symptoms in men as entirely psychosomatic events.

But the UW-Madison work helps "to realize that this phenomena that so many people know about, is actually real with a possible evolutionary purpose behind it," says co-author Shelley Prudom, a research specialist at the UW-Madison Primate Center. The scientists took monthly weight measurements for 29 common marmosets and 29 cotton top tamarins, of which 14 marmoset males and 11 tamarin males were expecting new offspring. Marmosets gestate their young for five months while tamarins normally gestate for six.

"The males somehow cue in to the cascade of hormonal changes going on in their pregnant mates," says Ziegler. That cue triggers changes in their own reproductive hormones. Rising levels of the lactation-inducing hormone prolactin, for instance, most likely cause the weight gain in expecting male primates. Levels of estrogen and testosterone also rise higher.

In future studies, Ziegler and her colleagues plan to delve deeper into the workings of male reproductive hormones in primates awaiting new offspring.

Primate Center researcher Nancy Schultz-Darken, psychology researcher Aimee Kurian, and psychology professor Charles Snowdon also co-authored the study.

Toni Ziegler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.primate.wisc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Decoding the genome's cryptic language
27.02.2017 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>