Navigation Links
Female pronghorns choose mate based on substance as well as show

When a female animal compares males to choose a mate, she can't order a laboratory genetic screen for each suitor. Instead, she has to rely on external cues that may indicate genetic quality. Until now, biologists have focused on elaborate ornaments, such as the peacock's tail, as cues that females might use.

The thorny problem has been to explain how the correlation between male genetic quality and ornament quality can be maintained. If an ornament gives a male a mating advantage, then evolution would rapidly move to the point where all males, regardless of genetic quality, have high-quality ornaments.

"Female mate choice is likely a very important evolutionary force that does much more than select for ornaments in a few species," said John Byers of the University of Idaho. "It may be universally important in maintaining population genetic quality."

In work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Byers has shown that certain females can choose good genes in a species that does not have ornaments, such as the American pronghorn, an antelope-like mammal that evolved in North America. Byers has been studying pronghorn at the National Bison Range, a 30-square-mile National Wildlife Refuge in northwestern Montana, for 20 years, and recognizes all individual pronghorn in the population.

In recent research, Byers and his coauthor Lisette Waits, also of the University of Idaho, obtained genetic markers for all pronghorn individuals in the population and assigned paternity to the offspring.

"The females' mate sampling creates a small group of males that each year sire more than one-half of all young," said Byers, who is currently serving as a program officer in NSF's biological sciences directorate. "These are the males that, under the stringent female sampling process, have shown they are the most vigorous."

The offspring of these vigorous males also are more likely to survive to weaning, Byers found. "This ad vantage is due to faster growth rates," he said.

Byers also showed that these faster-growing fawns suckle less from their mothers than do the offspring sired by less-attractive males. He monitored the population for several years, and found the offspring of frequently chosen males continued to have a survival advantage for as long as five years.


'"/>

Source:National Science Foundation


Related biology news :

1. Female sex hormones play a vital role in defense against sexually transmitted diseases
2. Female volunteers prepare for a second bedrest
3. Female butterflies go for sparkle -- not size -- when choosing to mate
4. Female guppies risk their lives to avoid too much male attention
5. Female birds boost up their eggs when hearing sexy song
6. Update on census of worlds most endangered cat -- Female Amur leopard found dead
7. Female Antarctic seals give cold shoulder to local males
8. Female chimps keep the bullies at bay
9. Female-led infanticide in wild chimpanzees
10. When mice choose mates, experience counts
11. T for two: Scientists show how immune system chooses best way to fight infection
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/15/2016)... 2016 Yissum Research Development Company of ... of the Hebrew University, announced today the formation of ... of various human biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has completed ... private investors. ... of electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, enables reliable and ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... March 10, 2016 --> ... research report "Identity and Access Management Market by Component ... and Governance), by Organization Size, by Deployment, by Vertical, ... by MarketsandMarkets, The market is estimated to grow from ... by 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) ...
(Date:3/8/2016)...   Valencell , the leading innovator in ... secured $11M in Series D financing. The investment ... fund being launched by UAE-based financial services company ... TDF Ventures and WSJ Joshua Fund. Valencell plans ... growth and accelerate its pioneering innovation in accurate ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... 4, 2016 According to a ... Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, ... anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 17.1% from ... 2024. Metabolomics is the extensive study of ... tissues or organisms. Together, these small molecules and their ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... New York, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 04, ... ... growth, has leveraged recent innovations in biotechnology to help treat hormonal and stress ... hair loss, Nutrafol® has captured the hearts of key opinion leaders in the ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... Morf Media Inc ... training platform on mobile devices, today released a new interactive Food and ... Devices. The course is essential for owners or operators of places of business ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... Massachusetts (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... will gather at Boston CEO 2016 on May 31st and June 1st at ... networking forum for leading executives in the life sciences, offering exclusive access to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: