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:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017   Bridge Patient ... organizations, and MD EMR Systems , an ... partner for GE, have established a partnership to ... product and the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity ... These new integrations will allow ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... 2017 Janice Kephart , former ... Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues the ... Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting ... can be instilled with greater confidence, enabling the ... refugee applications are suspended by until at least ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging and ... the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration ... Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at ... the Las Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... first-ever genomics analysis platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze ... pioneering researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The ... context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The ... transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Alto, CA, USA (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... set to take place on 7th and 8th June 2018 in San Francisco, CA. ... policy influencers as well as several distinguished CEOs, board directors and government officials from ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider ... nationwide oncology Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which will launch ... for communication among health care professionals to enhance the patient ... office staff, and other health care professionals to help women ... cancer. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: