Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UBC Researchers Explain Why Females Are Better Off Choosing Unattractive Mates

Date:
October 9, 2005
Source:
University Of British Columbia
Summary:
In a research paper published in the journal Science, UBC zoology professor Sarah Otto and graduate student Arianne Albert propose a model that explains why males in some species have extravagant displays for attracting females, while males in other species look just like females.

“Ladies choice” isn’t just a dance routine, it is also a driver of species evolution -- and two UBC researchers may have found a reason why.

Related Articles


In a research paper published in the Oct. 7 edition of the prestigious journal Science, UBC zoology professor Sarah Otto and graduate student Arianne Albert propose a model that explains why males in some species have extravagant displays for attracting females, while males in other species look just like females.

Many groups of animals, including humans, have an “XY” sex-determining system through which the father determines the sex of the offspring -- the offspring is female if it receives an X chromosome from the father, and vice versa. For these species, the chromosome on which flashy displays is coded will determine whether the sons or the daughters inherit the physical trait.

“If the genes coding for flashy displays are on the X, the genes from a sexy dad only appear in his daughters, making them visible to predators without improving their reproductive success, and thus favouring the evolution of preferences for dull males,” says Albert, lead author of the paper.

“Females in XY species -- including humans -- should therefore prefer bland males, because they produce more fit daughters.”

In other groups of animals (including birds), sex-determination is reversed. Females are ZW and males are ZZ, and therefore sex is decided by which sex chromosome (Z or W) is received from the mother.

“In these cases, when display genes are on the Z chromosome, the female is better off choosing a sexy mate, because the dad passes the Z to the sons who are thus more attractive,” says Otto.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of British Columbia. "UBC Researchers Explain Why Females Are Better Off Choosing Unattractive Mates." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051009201943.htm>.
University Of British Columbia. (2005, October 9). UBC Researchers Explain Why Females Are Better Off Choosing Unattractive Mates. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051009201943.htm
University Of British Columbia. "UBC Researchers Explain Why Females Are Better Off Choosing Unattractive Mates." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051009201943.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins