Replicate high-selected, control, and low-selected lines were crossed at generation 46 of bidirectional selection for thermoregulatory nest-building behavior. Previous analysis of the lines at their limits had revealed multiple responses to uniform selection, where each of the four selected lines responded differently to reverse selection (Laffan, 1989). The reciprocal F1 crosses showed significant heterosis for nest-building behavior compared to the contemporaneous generations of the parental lines. This pattern of heterosis in all three crosses is consistent with the finding that nest-building behavior in each of the four replicate lines had a different genetic basis, in spite of the phenotypic similarity between the two replicate lines in the high and low direction of nesting. This heterosis effect and the larger number of young weaned in all three crosses compared to their respective contemporaneous generation of the parental lines also support earlier findings that larger nests are closely related to fitness.
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