Sexual imprinting on continuous variation: do female zebra finches prefer or avoid unfamiliar sons of their foster parents?

Schielzeth H, Burger C, Bolund E, Forstmeier W (2008)
Journal of Evolutionary Biology 21(5): 1274-1280.

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Abstract
Sexual imprinting on discrete variation that serves the identification of species, morphs or sexes is well documented. By contrast, sexual imprinting on continuous variation leading to individual differences in mating preferences within a single species, morph and sex has been studied only once (in humans). We measured female preferences in a captive population of wildtype zebra finches. Individual cross-fostering ensured that all subjects grew up with unrelated foster parents and nest mates. Females from two cohorts (N = 113) were given a simultaneous choice between (two or four) unfamiliar males, one of which was a genetic son of their foster parents (SFP). We found no significant overall preference for the SFP (combined effect size d = 0.14 ± 0.15). Additionally, we tested if foster parent traits could potentially explain between-female variation in preferences. However, neither the effectiveness of cooperation between the parents nor male contribution to parental care affected female preferences for the son of the foster father. We conclude that at least in zebra finches sexual imprinting is not a major source of between-individual variation in mating preferences.
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Schielzeth H, Burger C, Bolund E, Forstmeier W. Sexual imprinting on continuous variation: do female zebra finches prefer or avoid unfamiliar sons of their foster parents? Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 2008;21(5):1274-1280.
Schielzeth, H., Burger, C., Bolund, E., & Forstmeier, W. (2008). Sexual imprinting on continuous variation: do female zebra finches prefer or avoid unfamiliar sons of their foster parents? Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 21(5), 1274-1280.
Schielzeth, H., Burger, C., Bolund, E., and Forstmeier, W. (2008). Sexual imprinting on continuous variation: do female zebra finches prefer or avoid unfamiliar sons of their foster parents? Journal of Evolutionary Biology 21, 1274-1280.
Schielzeth, H., et al., 2008. Sexual imprinting on continuous variation: do female zebra finches prefer or avoid unfamiliar sons of their foster parents? Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 21(5), p 1274-1280.
H. Schielzeth, et al., “Sexual imprinting on continuous variation: do female zebra finches prefer or avoid unfamiliar sons of their foster parents?”, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol. 21, 2008, pp. 1274-1280.
Schielzeth, H., Burger, C., Bolund, E., Forstmeier, W.: Sexual imprinting on continuous variation: do female zebra finches prefer or avoid unfamiliar sons of their foster parents? Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 21, 1274-1280 (2008).
Schielzeth, Holger, Burger, C., Bolund, E., and Forstmeier, W. “Sexual imprinting on continuous variation: do female zebra finches prefer or avoid unfamiliar sons of their foster parents?”. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 21.5 (2008): 1274-1280.
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