Navigation Links
Mate selection: How does she know he'll take care of the kids?

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
Yale University

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:
Related Image:
Mate selection: How does she know he'll take care of the kids?
(Date:10/29/2015)... --  MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical technology ... is pleased to announce that it has been selected ... of only three finalists for a 2015 Tekne ... category. The Tekne Awards honor Minnesota ... and leadership. iMedNet™ eClinical  technology ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... -- Daon, a global leader in mobile biometric authentication ... version of its IdentityX Platform , IdentityX v4.0. ... have already installed IdentityX v4.0 and are seeing ... UAF certified server component as an option and ... These customers include some of the largest and most ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  Connected health pioneer, Joseph ... explosion of technology-enabled health and wellness, and the business ... The Internet of Healthy Things . ... smartphones even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, ... care delivery, moving care from the hospital or doctor,s ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD ... at the following conference, and invited investors to participate ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. ... New York, NY      Tuesday, December ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" or "the Company") (TSX-V: ... the quarter ended September 30, 2015. Amounts, unless ... presented under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). ... Andrew Rae , President & CEO of ... only value enriching for this clinical program, but ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... event of the year and one of the premier annual events for pharmaceutical ... ran from 8–11 November 2015, where ISPE hosted the largest number of attendees ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical research services headquartered in ... has set a new quarterly earnings record in Q3 of 2015.  ... Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of 2015.   ... the establishment of an Asia-Pacific office to ... and Mexico , with the establishment ...
Breaking Biology Technology: