Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Female Choice Benefits Mothers More Than Offspring

Date:
October 24, 2009
Source:
Uppsala University
Summary:
The great diversity of male sexual traits, ranging from peacock's elaborate train to formidable genitalia of male seed beetles, is the result of female choice. But why do females choose among males? Researchers found no support for the theory that the female choice is connected to "good genes."

The great diversity of male sexual traits, ranging from peacock's elaborate train to formidable genitalia of male seed beetles, is the result of female choice.
Credit: iStockphoto/Jennifer Daley

The great diversity of male sexual traits, ranging from peacock's elaborate train to formidable genitalia of male seed beetles, is the result of female choice. But why do females choose among males? In a new study published October 22 in Current Biology, researchers from Uppsala University found no support for the theory that the female choice is connected to "good genes".

The great diversity of male sexual traits, ranging from peacock's elaborate train to formidable genitalia of male seed beetles, is the result of female choice. But why do females choose among males? Remarkably, there is no consensus among biologists over the key question why females choose among males. At the heart of this debate lie two distinct possibilities -- that female choosiness is beneficial to the females themselves or that female choice traits are favoured because of 'good genes' that males contribute to female's offspring.

Across animal kingdom, females often resist male advances and only a small fraction of mating attempts result in copulations. Mating is costly, and one straightforward explanation for female resistance is that non-resistant females will suffer a reduction in their fitness. However, by resisting mating attempts, females are selecting for most 'persistent' males. Could it be that offspring of such 'persistent' males have higher fitness? If yes, female resistance can be viewed as a way of selecting for males that provide their offspring with 'good genes'.

We manipulated female choosiness by altering female ability to reject unwanted males in Adzuki beetle. Female beetles are constantly harassed by ardent males and thwart male mating attempts by vigorously kicking the unwanted suitors with their hind legs. We fitted females with prongs that reduced male ability to impose copulations. Alternatively, we reduced females' ability to resist copulations by shortening their hind legs. Females with increased ability to reject male mating attempts had much higher fitness than females whose resistance was reduced. What about the 'good genes'?

- We found no support for the idea that increased female resistance to mating results in sons that are more successful in competition with other males, or in more fertile daughters. Hence, female resistance is mostly beneficial to the female herself, while inadvertent selection for male 'persistence' plays a minor role, says Alexei Maklakov, who led the study.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Uppsala University. "Female Choice Benefits Mothers More Than Offspring." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022141404.htm>.
Uppsala University. (2009, October 24). Female Choice Benefits Mothers More Than Offspring. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022141404.htm
Uppsala University. "Female Choice Benefits Mothers More Than Offspring." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022141404.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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