AUSTIN, TexasFemale cognitive ability can limit how melodious or handsome males become over evolutionary time, biologists from The University of Texas at Austin, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute have observed.
Males across the animal world have evolved elaborate traits to attract females, from huge peacock tails to complex bird songs and frog calls. But what keeps them from getting more colorful feathers, longer tails, or more melodious songs? Predators, for one. Increased elaboration can draw predators in, placing an enormous cost to males with these sexy traits.
In a new paper appearing this week in Science, a group of biologists have shown that females themselves can also limit the evolution of increased elaboration.
Studying neotropical tngara frogs, they found that females lose their ability to detect differences in male mating calls as
|Contact: Karin Akre|
University of Texas at Austin