Navigation Links
A mating dance with Popeye arms
Date:5/25/2012

This press release is available in German.

In the animal world, it is not always the strongest that prevails sometimes, it is the most beautiful. A well-known example is the peacock. The peahen chooses the partner with the most attractive tail fan. A research team at Bielefeld University headed by the evolutionary biologist Dr. Holger Schielzeth is now studying how far a comparable mechanism is involved in mate choice among locusts. The male Siberian locust (Gomphocerus sibiricus) has swollen front legs. The scientists are now studying how far female locusts prefer the male with the most powerful swellings and select their mates accordingly. The German Research Foundation is funding the project for five years as part of its Emmy Noether Programme.

Sexual ornaments are what zoologists call such prominent features that influence mate choice. One example is the swollen forelimbs of the Siberian locust (Gomphocerus sibiricus). Holger Schielzeth has called these ornaments 'Popeye arms' because of their resemblance to the cartoon sailor's muscular forearms. 'We suspect that this feature is decisive for the female's mate selection', he says. What's so special about such ornaments is that reproductive success does not depend necessarily on adaptation to the environment. At first, glance, it would seem as if such an ornament is even an end in itself.

Schielzeth and his team are experimenting with the locust in order to find out how important the condition of the Popeye arms is for female mate choice. They are also analysing whether the condition of the Popeye arms is related to an animal's health. Are the forelimbs more swollen when the male is better nourished? However, the opposite perspective is being studied just as closely. Are well-nourished females choosier than those living in deficient environments?

The reason why the scientists are seeking answers to all these questions is that they want to understand the evolution of sexual ornaments. 'Much of the variety that impresses us so much in nature relates to sexual ornaments', says Holger Schielzeth, 'hence, we are finally also interested in gaining a better understanding of the emergence of biodiversity'. Evolution cannot be understood without knowing about the genetics of these features, Schielzeth says.


'/>"/>
Contact: Dr. Holger Schielzeth
holger.schielzeth@uni-bielefeld.de
49-521-106-2820
University of Bielefeld
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Mosquitoes create harmonic love song before mating, study finds
2. Fruit flies sick from mating
3. Mating that causes injuries
4. Bats use love songs during mating, researchers say
5. Loyal alligators display the mating habits of birds
6. Mystery solved: Facial cancer decimating Tasmanian devils likely began in Schwann cells
7. Male antelopes deceive females to increase their chances of mating
8. Whale sharks may produce many litters from 1 mating, paternity test shows
9. Nightshades mating habits strike uneasy evolutionary balance
10. SU scientists find that in the evolutionary mating game, brawn and stealth rule
11. Researchers working toward automating sedation in intensive care units
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
A mating dance with Popeye arms
(Date:1/24/2017)... , Jan. 24, 2017  It sounds simple ... sock that monitors vital signs and alerts parents ... infant,s oxygen saturation level drops. But pediatric experts ... to parents, with no evidence of medical benefits, ... are marketed aggressively to parents of healthy babies, ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... Jan. 23, 2017  The latest mobile market research ... have dropped dramatically. The quarterly average price of a ... $276 in Q4 2016.  There are now 120 sub-$150 ... $116, up from just 28 a year ago at ... to Maxine Most , Acuity Market Intelligence Principal, ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... 20, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... The global voice recognition biometrics market to grow ... The report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects ... the market size, the report considers the revenue generated from the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/24/2017)... , ... January 24, 2017 , ... Global Food ... launch of its newly redesigned website, “GFSR 3.0,” which company CEO Tina Brillinger says ... relevant content more easily as we grow. , “We've spoken to many of our ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... Demonstrating its ongoing commitment to patient safety, ... Pennsylvania has now fully integrated THE OBSERVER ... THE OBSERVER is a system for actively monitoring the ... 100% compliance with safety best practices and is Prairie ... the growth and spread of infections within the health ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... MA (PRWEB) , ... January ... ... a commercial provider of distributed wastewater treatment and resource recovery solutions, announced ... Cambrian’s award-winning EcoVolt® solution. The solution will provide Rombauer with the ability ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... ... January 24, 2017 , ... ... of its award-winning CERF ELN (Electronic Laboratory Notebook) and Electronic ... asset manager used by laboratories, regulated scientific companies and biomedical organizations. CERF ...
Breaking Biology Technology: