Effects of experience on the parental responses of male Mongolian gerbils
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We examined responses of adult male Mongolian gerbils to nest site and young during the hours preceding and days following birth of a litter. We found that (a) male attendance at the nest site was markedly reduced for several hours following the birth of pups; (b) this lack of contact by males with nest and pups did not result from active exclusion of males from the nest by their mates; (c) males lacking previous experience of pups, but not those familiar with pups, avoided contact with pups on the day of their birth; and (4) 3-day-old gerbil pups were attractive even to males encountering young for the first time.
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