Navigation Links
Mate selection: How does she know he'll take care of the kids?
Date:6/18/2009

New Haven, Conn. Throughout the animal kingdom brilliant colors or elaborate behavioral displays serve as "advertisements" for attracting mates. But, what do the ads promise, and is there truth in advertizing? Researchers at Yale theorize that when males must provide care for the survival of their offspring, the males' signals will consistently be honest and they may devote more of their energy to caring for their offspring than to being attractive.

The idea that males showcase their best qualities to attract females for mating isn't a new one, nor is the idea that they might be deceptive in what they are promoting. Instead, the new findings better predict the requirement for honesty in advertising as a function of the male's suitability for parenting, according to Natasha Kelly, a graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale and lead author of the study.

The peacock's ornate fanned tail or the primping and posturing of a guy in a bar are "advertisements" or mating displays that take substantial energy to maintain. When a male's energy is heavily focused on keeping up his appearance, he may have little energy to devote to caring for offspring. But that may be okay, say the researchers in species where he does not really need to tend to the kids.

Previous research suggested that, under certain circumstances, males could be dishonest about their parenting skills and still have high reproductive success. This new model, now appearing in the online version of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, examines the reliability of males' mating signals when they must care for offspring an aspect that was missing in earlier studies.

There are many species in which males could, but do not have to, provide parental care because females will pick up the slack. The Yale researchers focused on those species, like stickleback fish, where females cannot pick up the slack and males who do not provide care risk the survival of their offspring.

"This new work shows that when males can not escape the cost of failing to provide care, their advertisements will tend to tend to reliably indicate how much care they will provide," said senior author Suzanne Alonzo, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale.

"The qualifier in this case is where males are obligated to provide care," said Kelly. "In that case, the quiet guy in the corner might be giving the more reliable advertisement for fatherhood."


'/>"/>

Contact: Janet Rettig Emanuel
janet.emanuel@yale.edu
203-432-2157
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Rising acidity levels could trigger shellfish revenue declines, job losses
2. Crustacean shell with polyester creates mixed-fiber material for nerve repair
3. Beetle shell inspires brilliant white paper
4. Shellfish face an uncertain future in a high CO2 world
5. Focus on the formation of bones, teeth and shells
6. Mollusks taste memories to build shells
7. Penn biologists demonstrate that size matters... in snail shells
8. Shellfish and inkjet printers may hold key to faster healing from surgeries
9. Scientists unlock the secrets of C. difficiles protective shell
10. These shells dont clam up: Innovative technique to record human impact on coastal waters
11. These shells dont clam up: Innovative technique to record human impact on coastal waters
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Mate selection: How does she know he'll take care of the kids?
(Date:8/23/2017)... ARMONK, N.Y. , Aug. 23, 2017  The general public,s help ... the human microbiome—the bacteria that live in and on the human body ... ... bacteria in the human microbiome, starting with the gut. The project's goal ... in disease. Photo credit: IBM ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ARMONK, N.Y. and ITHACA, N.Y. ... IBM ) and Cornell University, a leader in dairy ... combined with bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances ... breaches. With the onset of this dairy project, Cornell ... the Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017   Bridge ... health organizations, and MD EMR Systems , ... development partner for GE, have established a partnership ... Portal product and the GE Centricity™ products, including ... EMR. These new integrations will ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... For the second time in three years, ... Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to Washington, D.C. Tuesday, October 10th, ... mission is to change the trajectory of STEM education in America by dramatically ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 10, 2017 , ... The Pittcon Program Committee is pleased ... scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy. Each ... leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will be held February 26-March ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System which uses the surface electromyography (sEMG) ... tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography (sEMG). The prospective multicenter phase III ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... October 06, 2017 ... ... Cure) will host a lunch discussion and webinar on INSIGhT, the first-ever adaptive ... INSIGhT Principal Investigator, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The event is free and open to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: