Intrauterine position influences anatomy and behavior in domestic rabbits

Oxana Bánszegi, V. Altbäcker, Ágnes Bilkó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In several rodent species, the sexual differentiation of a female offspring is known to be affected in utero by the testosterone produced in adjacent male littermates. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of male neighbors on the sexual differentiation in domestic rabbits. For this, the intrauterine position (IUP) of a female offspring from unilaterally ovariectomized, multiparous mothers was determined by their birth order. Depending on the sex of the adjacent fetuses, pups were divided into 4 groups: 1. Males. 2. 2 M females (females with 2 adjacent males), 1 M females (females with 1 male neighbor), and 0 M females (females with zero adjacent male). Pups' anogenital distance (AGD) was measured at birth and on Day 180 postpartum, when spontaneous chin marking activity was also measured. Our results revealed that AGD was a reliable indicator of sex as male pups had larger AGD than females, both at birth and later on. Adjacent male fetuses had significant effect: the more adjacent male fetuses females have had the longer AGD they possessed. AGD at birth was a good predictor of AGD and behavior of adults, as 2 M does showed the longest AGD and the highest chin marking activity among females. We concluded that, similarly to rodents, proximity to males in utero affects both anatomy and behavior in rabbits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-262
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume98
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 7 2009

Fingerprint

Anatomy
Rabbits
Chin
Sex Differentiation
Fetus
Parturition
Rodentia
Birth Order
Postpartum Period
Testosterone
Mothers

Keywords

  • Anogenital distance
  • Chin marking
  • Intrauterine position
  • Reproductive behavior
  • Sex ratio
  • Unilateral ovariectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

Intrauterine position influences anatomy and behavior in domestic rabbits. / Bánszegi, Oxana; Altbäcker, V.; Bilkó, Ágnes.

In: Physiology and Behavior, Vol. 98, No. 3, 07.09.2009, p. 258-262.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bánszegi, Oxana ; Altbäcker, V. ; Bilkó, Ágnes. / Intrauterine position influences anatomy and behavior in domestic rabbits. In: Physiology and Behavior. 2009 ; Vol. 98, No. 3. pp. 258-262.
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