Hayes, Loren D.
Bauer, Carolyn; Beasley, DeAnna
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Variation in the timing of offspring parturition determines the environmental factors they experience during early development and their likelihood for survival. I used an 11-year dataset on a natural, free-living population of degus (Octodon degus), a social rodent endemic to Chile, to test predictions that ecological, social, and maternal conditions during the breeding season are associated with the timing of litter parturition and intragroup litter synchrony and that early-life conditions and the time at which pups are born influence their survival. Measures of females’ food access during breeding predicted their parturition day. Furthermore, differences in food abundance and phenotypical masculinization between female groupmates predicted differences in their parturition day. Females that experienced more food during breeding gave birth earlier in the year and female groupmates with similar masculinization and food shared greater differences in their parturition day. No effects of early-life conditions nor parturition day on offspring survival were identified.
I would like to thank my dedicated advisor, Dr. Loren Hayes, and my committee members Dr. Carolyn Bauer and Dr. DeAnna Beasley for their guidance and support; of which are unexplainably appreciated. I would also like to thank Dr. Luis Ebensperger, his lab members at the Universidad Católica de Chile both past and present, and the many IRES students before me, without whom this project would not exist. Next, I would like to thank Dr. Sebastian Abades for his teachings and guidance regarding using the program R and conducting hierarchical analyses. Finally, I would like to thank the amazing collective of graduate students at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and my loved ones (including friends, my mother and brother, and my sweet boys: Felix and Eden) for being my support system. I am very honored to have gone through this experience with you and/or while experiencing your love.
M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.
Degus--Parturition; Social behavior in animals; Survival analysis (Biometry)
xii, 57 leaves
Matchinske, Miles, "Consequences of the environment: timing of litter parturition and offspring survival in the social rodent Octodon degus" (2022). Masters Theses and Doctoral Dissertations.