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".

Related Articles


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 November 25, 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 November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cambodian Capital's Only Working Elephant to Retire in Jungle

Cambodian Capital's Only Working Elephant to Retire in Jungle

AFP (Nov. 25, 2014) Phnom Penh's only working elephant was blessed by a crowd of chanting Buddhist monks Tuesday as she prepared for a life of comfortable jungle retirement after three decades of giving rides to tourists. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stray Dog Follows Adventure Racing Team for 6-Day Endurance Race

Stray Dog Follows Adventure Racing Team for 6-Day Endurance Race

Buzz60 (Nov. 24, 2014) A Swedish Adventure racing team travels to try and win a world title, but comes home with something way better: a stray dog that joined the team for much of the grueling 430-mile race. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
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