Parenting in the animal world: Turning off the infanticide instinct

30 septiembre 2015

Many bachelor mammals, including lions, mountain gorillas, monkeys, and mice, attack and kill the offspring of other males–a form of infanticide–yet display parental behavior once they themselves become fathers. Now, scientists in Japan have discovered two small brain regions that control which of these very opposite behaviors a male mouse will exhibit. The experiments show how activity patterns in two forebrain regions determine whether males have the urge to act paternally towards mouse pups or to attack them.