African striped mice (Rhabdomys pumilio) as a neurobehavioral model for male parental care

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Parental care is diversely demonstrated across the animal kingdom, such that active practitioners and repertoires of parental behavior vary dramatically between and within taxa. For mammals, maternal care is ubiquitous while paternal and alloparental care are rare. The African striped mouse, a rodent species in the family Muridae, demonstrates maternal, paternal, and alloparental care. Because socio-environmental factors can considerably influence the development of their social behavior, including that of paternal and alloparental care, African striped mice are considered socially flexible. Here, we highlight African striped mice as a new model for the neurobiological study of male parental care. We first provide essential background information on the species' natural ecological setting and reproductive behavior, as well as the species-relevant interaction between ecology and reproduction. We then introduce the nature of maternal, paternal, and alloparental care in the species. Lastly, we provide a review of existing developmental and neurobiological perspectives and highlight potential avenues for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105364
JournalHormones and Behavior
StatePublished - Jun 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Endocrinology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


  • Alloparental care
  • Parental care
  • Paternal care
  • Reproductive behavior


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