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Female lizard turns the table: Why exaggerated coloration makes her a good mate
Date:1/26/2011

ay produce higher-quality offspring, in part because their eggs contain more antioxidants," says Weiss.

Weiss, and collaborators Eileen Kennedy at University of Puget Sound, Rebecca Safran at University of Colorado at Boulder, and Kevin McGraw at Arizona State University, report that the coloration in the female striped plateau lizard probably serves as a sexual signal attractive to males. In evolutionary terms this suggests that more colourful females produce healthier eggs and attract more and/or higher-quality male mates, ultimately producing high-quality offspring.

The research is the first example of a positive relationship between female ornamentation and yolk antioxidants in reptiles. It contributes to an understanding of the evolution of female ornaments and what role they may play. Female ornaments are less common than male ornaments in the animal kingdom, but they do occur, often as a weak expression of the male's typical colour. There has been little empirical examination of this phenomenon until recently. Further research into pterins may explore whether these compounds as with carotenoids do extract some cost from the mother or egg.


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Contact: Dr. Stacey Weiss
sweiss@pugetsound.edu
253-879-2744
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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