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Do solitary, seismic signalling Cape mole-rats (Georychus capensis) demonstrate spontaneous or induced ovulation?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 September 2005

James H. d. T. van Sandwyk
Affiliation:
Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
Nigel C. Bennett
Affiliation:
Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
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Abstract

The Cape mole-rat Georychus capensis is a solitary subterranean rodent that exhibits seasonal reproduction. This study set out to determine whether the female Cape mole-rat is an induced or spontaneous ovulator. Eleven females were collected from the field just before the breeding season and housed individually. Urine was collected for 5 weeks. Females were subjected to one of three trials: housed separately without a male; allowed only non-physical contact with unvasectomized males; placed in direct contact with four vasectomized males. Urine was collected for a further 5 weeks and urinary progesterone profiles established. Females housed in direct contact with males exhibited heightened progesterone concentrations and the presence of corpora lutea in their ovaries. The act of coitus seems to be necessary for ovulation to occur in the females even though males were not capable of fertilization.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2005 The Zoological Society of London

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Do solitary, seismic signalling Cape mole-rats (Georychus capensis) demonstrate spontaneous or induced ovulation?
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