|Parental care in captive Brandt vole (Lasiopodomys brandti Radde, 1861)|
In 10 male-female pairs observed under laboratory conditions, both parents were found to contribute to the care of young during the whole observation period (21 days from parturition) divided into four rearing periods (stages): days 2–6, 7–11, 12–16 and 17–21, respectively. All pairs exhibited permanent nest cohabitation. Paternal activities included nest construction, food caching, huddling over, brooding and grooming the young. There was slight sex differences in total time spent in the nest, but males spent alone in the nest more time than did females. Total time of pup grooming in females was commonly greater than in males. Besides, frequency of manipulations with bedding and bringing nest material to the nest in females were greater than in males. However, the rate of parental activity of males in pup grooming during 3rd stage as well as in manipulations with bedding during 4th stage was found to be similar to that one of females. Besides, males were more active in parental retrieving than females. In L. brandti the biparental care of young with a high direct paternal contribution seems to be associated with family group mode of life of this species. Parental care of Brandt vole is discussed in comparison with that one of other vole species.
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