Navigation Links
Zebra finch males prefer females with exaggerated maternal traits

Researchers have demonstrated that learning about the appearance of their parents may give birds a preference for mates with exaggerated parental traits, rather than traits that more exactly match those of their parents. Such learned mate preferences may help drive the evolution of exaggerated traits and strong morphological differences between sexes ?phenomena seen frequently in birds and other animals. The findings are reported by Carel ten Cate, Machteld Verzijden and Eric Etman of Leiden University, and appear in the June 6th issue of Current Biology.

In most bird species, young individuals take their parents as a model for what their later sexual partner should look like. This is the process of sexual imprinting, made famous by the Nobel prizewinner Konrad Lorenz. Nonetheless, most birds prefer mates in which specific traits are exaggerated compared with those of their parents. Because learning about a specific stimulus usually leads to a preference for this familiar stimulus over an unfamiliar one, it has generally been assumed that imprinting itself could not give rise to preferences for novel, exaggerated traits.

In their new work, the researchers tested the sexual preferences of zebra finch males that were raised by white parents differing in beak color. For one group of males, the researchers painted the beak color of the mother orange and that of the father red; for another group, the mother got a red beak and the father an orange one. When the males reached adulthood, they were tested with females with a spectrum of beak colors ranging from extreme orange to extreme red. Males in both groups preferred females with beaks that were more extremely colored than their mothers' beaks. This "peak shift" effect is known from other learning processes in which animals learn to distinguish different stimuli, but the presence of this effect in the imprinting process has not been demonstrated previously. The outcome of the study shows that the skewed mating preferences that are crucial for driving the evolution of sexual dimorphism and exaggerated traits in birds may result directly from sexual imprinting.


'"/>

Source:Cell Press


Related biology news :

1. Zebrafish may hold key to understanding human nerve cell development
2. Zebrafish may hold key to improved cancer research
3. Zebra finches remember songs dad sang
4. Darwins famous finches and Venters marine microbes
5. Mother birds increase progesterone to hatch females
6. Male elephants woo females with precise chemistry
7. New study explores beetle species with two forms of females
8. Male rivalry increases when females at most fertile, say researchers
9. Brain differences could explain why males and females experience pain relief differently
10. Insects that produce males from unfertilized eggs reveal a surprising cellular feat
11. UCLA study finds same genes act differently in males and females
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/15/2016)... April 15, 2016 Research ... Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  ... ) , ,The global gait biometrics market is ... during the period 2016-2020. Gait analysis ... can be used to compute factors that are ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients ... a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a ... the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key ... body mass index, and, when they opt in, share ... visit to a local retail location at no cost. ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has ... CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to ... the original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, ... Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software ... the company. Dr. Bready served as CEO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/19/2016)... 19, 2016 - I dati ... durante il 52 ° Congresso ... - Le conclusioni dello studio indicano un ... trattati, di cui il 90% presenta una d urata ... più. Il settantadue per cento dei pazienti ha riscontrato un ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... ... 18, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today ... assault kit processing to help them save time and reduce errors. , Sexual Assault ... be processed and victims informed of results. Due to a previous lack of tools, ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... , May 18, 2016 Haselmeier ... prefilled pen following approval by EMA, the European Medicines ... science and technology company, the new pen version includes ... increased level of confidence to patients during use. ... prefilled pen easier to handle with a larger display ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... ... May 17, 2016 , ... The Children’s Tumor Foundation is enthusiastic to announce ... will show their support in the fight against neurofibromatosis (NF) by lighting up blue ... disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. It affects 1 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: