Navigation Links
Does it pay to be a lover or a fighter? It depends on how you woo females
Date:1/23/2014

As mating season approaches, male animals are faced with a question that can make or break their chances at reproducing: does it pay to be a lover or a fighter? Or both?

Researchers from The University of Manchester and Syracuse University in New York working with the University of Western Australia, found that where animals fall on the lover/fighter scale depends on how much they are able to ensure continued mating rights with females.

In species where fighting for the right to mate means greater control of females, such as in the elephant seal, males invest more in weapons and less in testes size.

But males produce large weapons and testes in species where fighting for females occurs both before mating with weapons and after mating with sperm.

Some males found fighting the most successful method. Others found fighting was only the first step in sexual relations and also had to rely on large testes ensure their fertility.

The study, published in Nature Communications today (23 January) looked at over 300 species and found that males' ability to monopolise a female for continued mating drove the way they evolved.

The study looked at sexual behaviours in male mammals, birds, fish, insects and flatworms and has found that males only traded-off investment in weapons and testes when they were sure that females wouldn't fool around with another male when their back was turned.

John Fitzpatrick, a Lecturer in Animal Evolution at The University of Manchester who was senior author of the research, said these finding help to explain why some animals appear to invest maximally in expensive sexual traits but others are more frugal.

Dr Fitzpatrick said: "We set out to see why some species show trade-offs in sexual traits and others do not the answer lies in how successfully males are able to keep females from mating with rivals.

"We know animals try to get females in a couple of ways. When they fight for them they sometimes evolve weaponry such as antlers or a really big body size or big teeth. The other way they do this is not to bother to compete before they mate but to have big testes and the highest sperm quality so that they can fertilise the most eggs."

Dr Stefan Lpold, from Syracuse University in New York, said: "It is quite costly to invest in everything. You don't get something for nothing in evolution, so we wanted to see which species invested in weapons over testes.

"Some of these species invest in both, and that is a bit of a mystery. We will now look at whether maximising investment in sexual traits means you pay the price in some other aspect of life."

Pheasants, minnows, and bush crickets invested in both weapons and testes, while pinnipeds, such as elephant seals where males are almost five times the size of females, and acanthocephalan (a type of worms) invested more in weaponry but not testes.

Other examples of males investing in weaponry are antlers in red deer, horns in dung beetles, spurs in pheasants and canine teeth in primates.

Dr Lpold added: "Understanding the ways animals reproduce is important as it helps us understand how species evolve and can prove important for conservation."


'/>"/>

Contact: Alison Barbuti
alison.barbuti@manchester.ac.uk
44-161-275-8383
University of Manchester
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Dark chocolate lovers show higher tolerance for bitterness in chocolate ice cream
2. Anne Glover and Sir Michael Stratton to meet the press at The EMBO Meeting 2013 in Amsterdam
3. The American Society for Microbiology honors Andrew Lovering
4. Are we really a nation of animal lovers?
5. Energy supply from hydropower projects depends on rainforest conservation
6. In autism, age at diagnosis depends on specific symptoms
7. Risk of cardiac arrest depends on where you live
8. In elk hunting, success depends on the animals personality
9. Biodiversity conservation depends on scale: Lessons from the science-policy dialogue
10. Biodiversity conservation depends on scale: Lessons from the sience-policy dialogue
11. Success of engineered tissue depends on where its grown
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/16/2016)... , May 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC ... today announced the opening of an IoT Center of ... strengthen and expand the development of embedded iris biometric ... unprecedented level of convenience and security with unmatched biometric ... one,s identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and ... global partnership that will provide end customers with ... banking and payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ... area for financial services, but it also plays a fundamental ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... April 20, 2016 The new ... a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door ... reader or the door interface with integration authorization management ... control systems. The minimal dimensions of the access control ... the building installations offer considerable freedom of design with ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is ... has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval ... Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the Industry ... Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission ... hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The Design Lab ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated to identifying, protecting ... has closed its Series A funding round, according to ... "We have received a commitment from Forentis Fund that ... meet our current goals," stated Matthew Nunez . ... complete validation on the current projects in our pipeline, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... focused on quality, regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free webinar ... presented on July 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete ...
Breaking Biology Technology: