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Mastozoología neotropical

Print version ISSN 0327-9383


RIVAS, Mayda  and  FRANCO-TRECU, Valentina. Kidnapping of a pup by a parturient female and shared care in the South American fur seal, Arctocephalus australis. Mastozool. neotrop. [online]. 2012, vol.19, n.1, pp. 155-158. ISSN 0327-9383.

This communication reports a case of kidnapping and adoption of a pup by a South American fur seal female (Arctocephalus australis) while she was in labor, rejecting her own pup when it was born. The kidnapped pup was taken from its mother, who tried unsuccessfully to retrieve it. In the following month, the pup was observed nursing both from its mother and the adoptive female. This episode provides new insights into the high maternal sensitivity during parturition and the short period of maternal selectivity that can be established even before birth in this species.

Keywords : Allomaternal care; Maternal sensitivity during parturition; Otariids; Selectivity period.

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