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:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016   ... management and verification solutions, has partnered with ... software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks ... provides products that add functional enhancements to ... provides corporations and venues with an automated ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... 2016 Securus Technologies, a leading provider ... public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that ... has secured the final acceptance by all three ... Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have ... installed by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... -- Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to announce the introduction ... to make sure the right employees are actually signing in, and to even control ... ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Regular discussions on a range of subjects ... the two entities said Poloz. Speaking at a ... , he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which ... "In certain areas ... have common economic goals, why not sit down and address ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering ... retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Md. , June 23, 2016 A person ... from the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA ... sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEW YORK , June, 23, 2016  The ... students to envision new ways to harness living systems ... of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York ... more than 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s ... included Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: