Navigation Links
Does it pay to be a lover or a fighter? It depends on how you woo females
Date:1/23/2014

As mating season approaches, male animals are faced with a question that can make or break their chances at reproducing: does it pay to be a lover or a fighter? Or both?

Researchers from The University of Manchester and Syracuse University in New York working with the University of Western Australia, found that where animals fall on the lover/fighter scale depends on how much they are able to ensure continued mating rights with females.

In species where fighting for the right to mate means greater control of females, such as in the elephant seal, males invest more in weapons and less in testes size.

But males produce large weapons and testes in species where fighting for females occurs both before mating with weapons and after mating with sperm.

Some males found fighting the most successful method. Others found fighting was only the first step in sexual relations and also had to rely on large testes ensure their fertility.

The study, published in Nature Communications today (23 January) looked at over 300 species and found that males' ability to monopolise a female for continued mating drove the way they evolved.

The study looked at sexual behaviours in male mammals, birds, fish, insects and flatworms and has found that males only traded-off investment in weapons and testes when they were sure that females wouldn't fool around with another male when their back was turned.

John Fitzpatrick, a Lecturer in Animal Evolution at The University of Manchester who was senior author of the research, said these finding help to explain why some animals appear to invest maximally in expensive sexual traits but others are more frugal.

Dr Fitzpatrick said: "We set out to see why some species show trade-offs in sexual traits and others do not the answer lies in how successfully males are able to keep females from mating with rivals.

"We know animals try to get females in a couple of ways. When they fight for them they sometimes evolve weaponry such as antlers or a really big body size or big teeth. The other way they do this is not to bother to compete before they mate but to have big testes and the highest sperm quality so that they can fertilise the most eggs."

Dr Stefan Lpold, from Syracuse University in New York, said: "It is quite costly to invest in everything. You don't get something for nothing in evolution, so we wanted to see which species invested in weapons over testes.

"Some of these species invest in both, and that is a bit of a mystery. We will now look at whether maximising investment in sexual traits means you pay the price in some other aspect of life."

Pheasants, minnows, and bush crickets invested in both weapons and testes, while pinnipeds, such as elephant seals where males are almost five times the size of females, and acanthocephalan (a type of worms) invested more in weaponry but not testes.

Other examples of males investing in weaponry are antlers in red deer, horns in dung beetles, spurs in pheasants and canine teeth in primates.

Dr Lpold added: "Understanding the ways animals reproduce is important as it helps us understand how species evolve and can prove important for conservation."


'/>"/>

Contact: Alison Barbuti
alison.barbuti@manchester.ac.uk
44-161-275-8383
University of Manchester
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Dark chocolate lovers show higher tolerance for bitterness in chocolate ice cream
2. Anne Glover and Sir Michael Stratton to meet the press at The EMBO Meeting 2013 in Amsterdam
3. The American Society for Microbiology honors Andrew Lovering
4. Are we really a nation of animal lovers?
5. Energy supply from hydropower projects depends on rainforest conservation
6. In autism, age at diagnosis depends on specific symptoms
7. Risk of cardiac arrest depends on where you live
8. In elk hunting, success depends on the animals personality
9. Biodiversity conservation depends on scale: Lessons from the science-policy dialogue
10. Biodiversity conservation depends on scale: Lessons from the sience-policy dialogue
11. Success of engineered tissue depends on where its grown
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... -- Today HYPR Corp. , leading innovator in ... the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® Certified . ... that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 enterprises and ... 15 million users across the financial services industry, however ... suites and physical access represent a growing portion of ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... NEW YORK , April 4, 2017   ... solutions, today announced that the United States Patent and ... The patent broadly covers the linking of an iris ... the same transaction) and represents the company,s 45 th ... our latest patent is very timely given the multi-modal ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will host ... hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, ... on developing health and wellness apps that provide a ... Genome is the first hackathon for personal genomics ... companies in the genomics, tech and health industries are ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/28/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 28, 2017 , ... ... the international market with three research projects accepted for presentation at the 33rd ... . Nearly 10,000 participants – including some of the world’s top thought leaders ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... The recent vote by the ... a disease gives new hope to patients and hopefully sheds new light on the ... M.D. , an infertility expert and founding partner of Texas Fertility Center . ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... Iowa (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2017 , ... ... technology license agreement whereby DuPont gains exclusive rights to the ERS patent portfolio ... ERS was formed to commercialize the foundational intellectual property (IP) of the CRISPR-Cas ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Biova, LLC., the leader in water ... Board of Directors. Dr. Henig will bring a wealth of scientific experience in the ... the Chief Technical and Scientific Officer of four major global companies in the last ...
Breaking Biology Technology: