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:11/17/2016)... -- Global Market Watch: Primarily supported by ownership ... and Academics) market is to witness a value of US$37.1 ... highest Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.75% is foreseen ... period 2014-2020. North America is not ... Europe at 9.56% respectively. Report Focus: ...
(Date:11/15/2016)... 2016  Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN), ... the gut microbiome, today announced the pricing of ... its common stock and warrants to purchase 50,000,000 ... to the public of $1.00 per share and ... the offering, excluding the proceeds, if any from ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... SANTA CLARA, Calif. , Nov. 14, ... of the biometric identification market, Frost & ... Global Frost & Sullivan Award for Visionary ... leading player in the biometric identification market ... a multi-modal verification solution for instant, seamless, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... This CAST literature review and report looks at problems caused ... the economic effects in countries that are major global commodity exporters and importers, which ... risk of low level presence (LLP) puts large volumes of trade worth billions of ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... SEOUL, South Korea , Dec. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... completed a $21 billion KRW (US $18.9M) Series A ... Management, Kolon Investment, G.N. Tech Venture and SNU Bio ... by Eutilex to 30.5 billion KRW (US $27.7M) since ... will help Eutilex to bolster the development and commercialization ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Lincoln, NE (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 ... ... control systems integration, today announced that it has become a Wonderware Certified System ... Wonderware System Integrator Partner by Schneider Electric Software. , “The System Integrator Partner ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... the association for the California life ... st Century Cures legislation in Congress. The bill passed ... and in the Senate on December 7 by a 94-5 ... , president & CEO of Biocom: "Today, Congress ... patients around the world. The measure culminates three years of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: