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Hormonal and behavioural changes during the mating season and pregnancy in Alpine marmots (Marmota marmota)

Hormonal and behavioural changes during the mating season and pregnancy in Alpine marmots (Marmota marmota),10.1530/reprod/126.6.775,Reproduction,C. E

Hormonal and behavioural changes during the mating season and pregnancy in Alpine marmots (Marmota marmota)   (Citations: 1)
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Under natural and artificial conditions, Alpine marmots (Marmota marmota )a re truehibernators with a single breeding season starting immediately upon emergence from hibernation. Over three mating and breeding seasons, hormonal and mating patterns of colony-housed repro- ductive female marmots were investigated after exit from hibernation. Blood samples were taken for progesterone, oestrogen and relaxin assays with parallel ultrasound in- vestigations. Copulations were observed from the first day after exit from hibernation until the end of pregnancy and reached a maximum number on day 37 before par- turition. Mating behaviour was observed between the dominant animals as well as between dominant and sub- dominant group members. In the first week after exit from hibernation, plasma progesterone was detected in half of the animals. During the third week, progesterone concentrations were significantly higher in pregnant than in non-pregnant animals or animals that had aborted. Im- mediately after emerging from hibernation, all successfully mated females showed higher serum relaxin values than non-successfully mated animals and this increase in relaxin concentration lasted until the end of pregnancy. The total concentration of oestrogen did not differ between pregnant and non-pregnant animals. The results of this study indicate that progesterone and relaxin might be useful indicators of early pregnancy in Alpine marmots.
Journal: Reproduction , vol. 126, no. 6, pp. 775-782, 2003
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    • ...Measurements of hormones are used routinely for detecting pregnancy in both captive and wild mammalian species, and with the advance of non-invasive techniques to measure steroid hormones in urine and feces, more studies have come to rely on hormone profiles to detect fetal loss as well (Campbell et al., 2001; Exner et al., 2003; Fortman et al., 1993; Guo et al., 1999; Kuehl et al., 1992; Lasley et al., 1995; Schwarzenberger et al., 1996; ...

    Jacinta C. Beehneret al. The endocrinology of pregnancy and fetal loss in wild baboons

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