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The research published today in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology found that while small male beetles were more successful at attracting female mates to the breeding ground of an animal carcass than larger males, they didn't make better parents.

In the first study of its kind carried out in the wild, researchers tested whether individual male burying beetles -- known for being exceptionally good parents in the insect world -- would help look after their current family for longer if they had clues that it might be difficult to find, or compete for, other mates.

The male beetles were placed in the wild with a dead mouse, an ideal place for them to mate and rear a family, and where they called for mates by releasing pheromones.
Unexpectedly, small males were more successful than large males at attracting a female partner to the carcass than a male rival, and researchers believe that this is because they attracted less competition and potential for squabbles.

Read More: Sciencedaily

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