Peromyscus: Effect of Early Pairing on Reproduction

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Science  13 Dec 1974:
Vol. 186, Issue 4168, pp. 1042-1044
DOI: 10.1126/science.186.4168.1042


Sibling mating in prairie deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdi) results in poor reproductive performance. Siblings experimentally paired before puberty exhibit delayed reproduction when adult. A behavioral mechanism is involved in this reproductive delay, since prepubertal familiarity also delays reproduction in nonsibling pairs. Such a reproductive delay may act to reduce inbreeding depression and regulate population growth.