Maternal and paternal behavior of the Mongolian gerbil: a correlational study

Robert W. Elwood*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Male and female Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) and their litters were observed in undisturbed conditions. Resultant data were subjected to correlation analysis. Some maternal activities are positively correlated with each other while others are negatively correlated with each other. It is concluded that maternal behavior is clearly not a unitary process and that a single behavior category cannot be regarded as a valid reflection of maternal behavior. The organization of the paternal behavior is similar to that of the maternal behavior, which suggests that the causal factors are the same for both sexes. Correlations of activities between the sexes show that the male and female do not act independently of each other. Certain parental activities are influenced by the other parent, e.g., nest building is performed most often when the other parent is off the nest and the young are exposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-562
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioral and neural biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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