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Yolk androgen deposition without an energetic cost for female rockhopper penguins: a compensatory strategy to accelerate brood reduction?
Poisbleau, M.; Carslake, D.; Demongin, L.; Eens, M.; Chastel, O.; Quillfeldt, P. (2011). Yolk androgen deposition without an energetic cost for female rockhopper penguins: a compensatory strategy to accelerate brood reduction? Biol. Lett. 7(4): 605-607. dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2010.1134
In: Biology Letters. Royal Society Publishing: London. ISSN 1744-9561, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 291710 [ OMA ]

Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    yolk testosterone; yolk androstenedione; female body mass; laying order

Authors  Top 
  • Poisbleau, M., more
  • Carslake, D.
  • Demongin, L., more
  • Eens, M., more
  • Chastel, O.
  • Quillfeldt, P.

Abstract
    Whether androgen deposition in eggs is physiologically costly for female birds has remained a crucial but unsolved question, despite a broad use of this assumption in functional studies. We tested whether females depositing high androgen concentrations experienced higher mass losses than females depositing low androgen concentrations. Analysing female body mass change during egg formation in rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome chrysocome), we observed no energetic cost to androgen deposition. Nevertheless, lighter females laid eggs with higher yolk androgen concentrations. This relationship existed only for the second-laid egg (B-egg), but not for the first-laid egg (A-egg). Since the B-egg is usually the first to hatch and the only one to produce a fledging chick, we hypothesize that differential yolk androgen deposition may be an adaptive strategy for females to affect brood reduction.

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