Ultrasonic calling in isolated infant prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) and montane voles (M. montanus)

I compared number of ultrasonic calls infant prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) and montane voles (M. montanus) emit when isolated. Typically, murid infants produce ultrasonic calls when they cannot thermoregulate adequately. Infant prairie voles called much more than did infant montane voles (average of 954 versus 17 calls/20 min at ages 0–10 days, P < 0.001) […]

Social recognition is context dependent in single male prairie voles

Single males might benefit from knowing the identity of neighbouring males when establishing and defending boundaries. Similarly, males should discriminate between individual females if this leads to more reproductive opportunities. Contextual social cues may alter the value of learning identity. Knowing the identity of competitors that intrude into an animal’s territory may be more salient […]

Social isolation disrupts innate immune responses in both male and female prairie voles and enhances agonistic behavior in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

Psychosocial stress, specifically social isolation, is an important risk factor for the development of a variety of psychological and physiological disorders. Changes in immune function have been hypothesized to mediate this relationship. The current study used the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) model of isolation-induced depressive-like behavior to test whether social isolation led to changes in […]

A preference to bond? Male prairie voles form pair bonds even in the presence of multiple receptive females

Pair bonds are the cornerstone of a monogamous relationship. When individuals of the same species engage in monogamy and promiscuity (i.e. alternative reproductive tactics) it can be difficult to determine which tactic confers greater fitness, as measures of fitness can be difficult to ascertain. However, in these circumstances, whether animals preferentially establish pair bonds can […]