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Maintenance and decline of the suppression of infanticide in mother rats

Peters, L. C. and Sist, T. C. and Kristal, M. B. (1991) Maintenance and decline of the suppression of infanticide in mother rats. [Journal (Paginated)]

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Abstract

Virgin female rats kill foster neonates, whereas newly parturient mothers do not. We demonstrated previously that this tendency to kill is suppressed shortly prepartum, presumably by physiological factors. In this study, we show that a) suppression of infanticide is maintained through the first two weeks of lactation; b) the mothers that do not kill foster neonates are not necessarily the same mothers that respond maternally toward older foster pups, and those that kill neonates are not necessarily the same ones that are nonmaternal to older pups, the two behaviors being somewhat independent; and c) some virgins can be induced to be noninfanticides by prolonged exposure to young, but only under special testing conditions not required by actual mothers, which are nonkillers of foster young. This suggests that the maintenance of the suppression of infanticide in mothers owes something so the special circumstances of lactation other than continued exposure to young.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:Maternal behavior, infanticide, filicide, rats, delivery, parturition, lactation, cannibalism
Subjects:Neuroscience > Behavioral Neuroscience
Biology > Animal Behavior
Biology > Behavioral Biology
Psychology > Comparative Psychology
Psychology > Physiological Psychology
Psychology > Psychobiology
ID Code:759
Deposited By:Kristal, Mark B.
Deposited On:29 Nov 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

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