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Size of ornament is negatively correlated with baseline corticosterone in males of a socially monogamous colonial seabird

TitleSize of ornament is negatively correlated with baseline corticosterone in males of a socially monogamous colonial seabird
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsIII, HDDouglas, Kitaysky, AS, Kitaiskaia, EV, Maccormick, A, Kelly, A
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology B
Volume179
Abstract

The Goymann–WingWeld model predicts thatglucocorticoid levels in social animals reXect the costs ofacquiring and maintaining social status. The crested aukletis one of the few avian colonial species where a mutualornament in males and females is used in both sexual andaggressive displays. Previous studies of the crested aukletsupport the notion that the crest ornament is a badge of statusin this species. Here, we examined the relationshipbetween the crest ornament size and the adrenocorticalfunction in breeding crested auklets. Crest length was negativelycorrelated with corticosterone at baseline in males,but not in females. Baseline corticosterone in females (butnot in males) was negatively correlated with body conditionindex. Although male and female crested auklets are monomorphicin their ornamental traits, our results suggest thatthe socially mediated physiological costs associated withstatus signaling may diVer between the sexes.

DOI10.1007/s00360-008-0312-6
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