Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

In The Animal World, Bigger Isn't Necessarily Better

Date:
December 12, 2008
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
Shocking new research shows size isn't always an advantage in the animal world, shattering a widely-held belief that bigger is better.

Wolf spider. Size isn't always an advantage in the animal world.
Credit: iStockphoto/Cathy Keifer

Shocking new research shows size isn't always an advantage in the animal world, shattering a widely-held belief that bigger is better.

Michael Kasumovic, a former University of Toronto Scarborough PhD student, examined Australian Redback male spiders to determine whether the larger ones had an edge in achieving mating success and producing offspring.

Surprisingly, Kasumovic found the large spiders didn't always have an advantage. Instead, because the larger males experienced a much longer maturation process, they were unable to search for and mate with females and produce offspring at the same rate as the smaller Redback spiders.

"Most people assume that large size and weaponry are key indicators of a male's fitness, because those traits help them dominate smaller males," says Kasumovic, now a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of New South Wales. "However, smaller males develop sooner and are therefore able to mate with females before the larger males. So while large males may dominate in combat, they are unable to compete with the smaller males in terms of mate searching."

The study, currently published online in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, emphasized the important role maturation time plays in defining a successful male.

"Size is no longer the only ruler by which we can measure a male's quality," says Kasumovic. "Many other factors, including maturation time, are critical in that definition."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Toronto. "In The Animal World, Bigger Isn't Necessarily Better." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081211121833.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2008, December 12). In The Animal World, Bigger Isn't Necessarily Better. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081211121833.htm
University of Toronto. "In The Animal World, Bigger Isn't Necessarily Better." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081211121833.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) With plenty of honking, flapping, and fluttering, more than three dozen Caribbean flamingos at Zoo Miami were rounded up today as the iconic exhibit was closed for renovations. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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