California mice Peromyscus californicus are a rodent species in which fathers provide extensive paternal care; however, behavioral responses of virgin males toward conspecific neonates vary from paternal behavior to tolerance to infanticide. Indirect evidence suggests that paternal responses might be influenced by social status potentially through increased stress and anxiety in subordinate males. To test this hypothesis, we housed 12 virgin male California mice in same-sex dyads on weaning and assessed their within-dyad subordinate or dominant status using food-competition and urine-marking tests. In addition, behavioral responses to an unrelated pup, expression of vasopressin (AVP) and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) mRNA in the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVN), basal plasma levels of testosterone and corticosterone, and body mass were measured. Food-competition and urine-marking tests did not reveal strong or stable dominance-subordination relationships in male-male
|Journal||Physiological and Biochemical Zoology|
|State||Published - 2012|
Jong, T. R. D., Korosi, A., Harris, B., Perea-Rodriguez, J. P., & Saltzman, W. (2012). Individual variation in paternal responses of virgin California mice (Peromyscus californicus): behavioral and physiological correlates. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 740-751.