Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Friday, 11.28.2014
Classifieds
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9
 10  11  12  13  14  15  16
 17  18  19  20  21  22  23
 24  25  26  27  28  29  30
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local




Members Of



Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Jun 01,2007
Deer moms come to the rescue—sometimes
by Bend Weekly News Sources

Moth­ers in one deer spe­cies seem re­markably gen­er­ous in de­fend­ing oth­er par­ents’ kids, a study has found—but anoth­er deer spe­cies dis­plays much less gal­lant­ry.

The two spe­cies re­sponded dif­fer­ently to fawns’ recorded dis­tress calls, ac­cord­ing to Su­san Lin­gle, who con­ducted the re­search as a post­doc­tor­al fel­low at the Un­ivers­i­ties of Al­ber­ta and of Leth­bridge, both in Can­a­da.

Lin­gle used speak­ers to broad­cast calls of fawns un­der threat, such as when they face a coy­ote at­tack, to­ward adult deer.

Mule deer fawns with their moth­er. (Cour­te­sy Yel­low­stone Nat'l Park)

White­tail deer moth­ers ran to help only in re­sponse to their own spe­cies’ call, and only when their own off­spring was out of sight, she re­ported. But mule deer moth­ers an­swered calls of both spe­cies’ fawns, even when their own fawn stood next to them so they had no rea­son to be­lieve their own was in trou­ble. 

“The fact that mule deer ran to the speak­er when their own fawn was stand­ing next to them safe and sound re­vealed they do not help oth­er fawns be­cause they mis­take them for their own,” she said. 

“It was sur­pris­ing just how in­dis­crim­i­nate mule deer fe­males were. For ex­am­ple, the fe­males that weren’t even moth­ers al­so ran to the speak­ers to help fawns. That would not be ex­pected if fe­males were simply try­ing to pro­tect their own fawns.”

The find­ings ap­pear in this mon­th’s is­sue of the re­search jour­nal An­i­mal Behavior.

Mule deer came to the speak­er and stayed there as long as the dis­tress calls played, twist­ing and turn­ing as they con­fronted per­ceived at­tackers, Lin­gle said. White­tail moth­ers came near the speak­er brief­ly, then tended to with­draw right away.

While the find­ings seem to hail mule deer as su­pe­ri­or moth­ers, their mo­tiva­t­ion for pro­tecting oth­er fawns is likely based not on al­tru­ism but on sur­viv­al, said Lin­gle.

“Hav­ing a rig­id and ag­gres­sive re­sponse to the sim­ple sound of a fawn dis­tress call may en­sure ef­fec­tive defense of a fe­male’s own off­spring, even though this means the fe­male in­vests time and en­er­gy and puts her­self at risk by help­ing many oth­er an­i­mals. In con­trast, a white­tail moth­er waits to as­sess wheth­er a fawn is her own be­fore she steps in to de­fend it. As a re­sult, white­tail fawns suf­fer con­sid­erably more preda­t­ion dur­ing the first months of life than do mule deer fawns.”

Mule deer may have de­vel­oped a more ef­fec­tive ag­gres­sive defense be­cause they rely on fight­ing to fend off preda­tors year-round, Lin­gle added. White­tails and many oth­er spe­cies re­strict ag­gres­sive defense to just the youngest fawns. White­tails rely on flight rath­er than fight for most of their lives, so this may ham­per their abil­ity to mount an ag­gres­sive defense, Lin­gle said.

1538 times read

Related news
Sex-free shark birth startles scientists, and worries them by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources posted on May 25,2007

A 'Big Bang' of plant evolution by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources posted on Dec 07,2007

Gay men likelier to gamble addict­ively, study suggests by World Science posted on Dec 01,2006

New “longevity gene” spurs hopes of long life by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources posted on May 04,2007

'Mafia' behavior noted in birds by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources posted on Mar 16,2007

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 32 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County
Fairgrounds

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum

Advertisements



Deschutes County

Google  
  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
Advertisement
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?