n African Zoology - Seasonal variation in gonadal steroids of males and females in the Cape mole-rat (): the potential for opportunistic breeding

Volume 44, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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Urinary testosterone concentrations in males and urinary progesterone and oestradiol concentrations in females were measured in the Cape mole-rat () and compared for the summer and winter periods. The Cape mole-rat breeds seasonally, with sexual activity and subsequent pregnancy recorded during the winter months in the southern hemisphere. Despite the fact that it has a distinct breeding season, seasonal differences in urinary hormone concentrations of both male and female Cape mole-rats were not statistically significant. This finding supports the notion the Cape mole-rat may have the opportunity to operate as an opportunistic breeder if fortuitous environmental conditions arise, such as unseasonal rainfall, occurring at these normally non-favourable times of the year.

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