By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - When a female "burying beetle" is focused on caring for babies and not making new ones, she releases a chemical signal to her libidinous mate that says in no uncertain terms, "Honey, I'm not in the mood." Scientists described on Tuesday how these females employ an anti-aphrodisiac chemical known as a pheromone during a three-day period critical for raising offspring to tell the male she is temporary infertile and prevent him from trying to copulate. It provides insight into how animals change their behavior to provide care for their young, in this instance favoring parenting over sexual activity to produce new offspring. "Our study helps to understand animal family life and how it is coordinated between family members," said biologist Sandra Steiger of Germany's University of Ulm, who led the study published in the journal Nature Communications.
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