Reproductive failure in female Thornicroft’s giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis thornicrofti) in Zambia

Reproductive suppression is common among mammals residing in cooperative social systems and is characterized by the cessation of ovulation in subordinate females until their social environment releases them from a temporary freeze on ovulating (e.g., dwarf mongoose, Helogale parvula (Creel, Creel, Wildt, & Monfort, 1992); African wild dogs, Lycaon pictus (Creel, Creel, Mills, & Monfort, 1997); wolves, Canus lupus (Packard, Seal, Mech, & Plotka, 1985); Damaraland mole rats, Cryptomys damarensis (Bennett, 1994); common marmosets, Callthrix jacchus (Barrett, Abbott, & George, 1993); cotton-top tamarins, Saguinus oedipus (Ziegler, Savage, Scheffler, & Snowdon, 1987)). The prevalent evolutionary explanation for the inhibition of ovulation is that female–female competition regulates ovarian cyclicity (Wasser & Barash, 1983). Reproductive cessation is a problem among mammals residing in zoological institutions, where, despite abundant veterinary care and an adequate diet, some females fail to breed (Morfeld & Brown, 2014; Penfold, Powell, Taylor-Holzer, & Asa, 2014; Saunders, Harris, Taylor-Holzer, & Beck, 2014). Reproductive abnormalities occur among animals exposed to organic pollutants (Murphy et al., 2015) and endocrine disrupters (Norris & Carr, 2005; Tubbs & McDonough, 2018) that hinder the ability to produce viable young.

Last Updated
January 27, 2021
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