First-time macaque mothers bias milk composition in favor of sons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mammalian females invest heavily in each of their offspring, but little is known about the magnitude and sources of variation in the most energetically expensive form of maternal investment; milk production [1-5]. Investment strategies may change as females mature because females often begin to reproduce before they have completed their own growth [5]. Milk production may also be an important mechanism for sex-biased investment [5,6]. Here, I present data from 106 rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) mothers which show that primiparous mothers produce richer milk for sons than daughters, above a general sex bias among all mothers. This difference seems to reflect the tradeoffs between the benefits derived from additional investment in sons and the costs of diverting energy from maternal growth and development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume17
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 20 2007
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Macaca
milk composition
Nuclear Family
Milk
Mothers
Macaca mulatta
milk production
Chemical analysis
gender
energy costs
growth and development
Sexism
milk
Growth and Development
Costs and Cost Analysis
Costs
Growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

First-time macaque mothers bias milk composition in favor of sons. / Hinde, Katherine.

In: Current Biology, Vol. 17, No. 22, 20.11.2007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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