Mate Guarding behaviors in Swallows.

Essay by pimp420University, Bachelor'sA, November 2003

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Mate guarding, which is defined as " individual males following mates around during critical periods," is something that is very commonly seen in male swallows during the critical pre-egg laying, and egg lying periods. During the 1986 breeding season, Anders Pape Moller wanted to know the importance of mate guarding in these swallows. Two major questions seemed to have been posed at the beginning of the reading. First, what are the costs/benefits to the males and females when the behavior of guarding is given up. In other words, do the males and females benefit from this behavior? Or does this behavior lead to negative outcomes in either the male/female swallows. Another important question that Moller wanted answered was determining what factors started the guarding and what factors ended the process of mate guarding. While trying to find the answers to the main question, Moller also studied and questioned what happens when , during the critical egg lying period, eggs have been added to the swallows nests.

He wanted to find out if mate-guarding intensity increased or did that behavior decrease. What was also studied was whether or not the addition of eggs leads to increased or decreased copulation (mating) in the swallows. As part of the second main question to be answered, a sub-question had also been sought; what happens when the removal of eggs from the swallows' nest occurs? Did the females stay around the nest as much? How was the mate guarding intensity affected by the removal of eggs, and because of the declining nest presence of the female did that lead to increased sexual chases of those females by neighboring males? In order to understand this article one must understand 3 important things: the meaning of mate guarding, which was discussed at the beginning...