Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Urine sprays during courtship send mixed messages

Date:
March 30, 2010
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
Walking through urine drives crayfish into an aggressive sexual frenzy. Researchers suggest that a urine-mediated combination of aggressive and reproductive behavior ensures that only the strongest males get to mate.

Two crayfish fight in a cloud of visualized urine.
Credit: Fiona Berry

Walking through urine drives crayfish into an aggressive sexual frenzy. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Biology suggest that a urine-mediated combination of aggressive and reproductive behaviour ensures that only the strongest males get to mate.

Fiona Berry and Thomas Breithaupt from the University of Hull, UK, investigated the effects of urine-based chemical signaling on sexually active crayfish. Breithaupt said, "Our results confirm that females initiate courtship behavior; males will only attempt to mate if they receive urinary signals from the female. Females, however, send a mixed message by releasing an aphrodisiac while also acting very aggressively towards the males."

Females could profit in different ways from displaying such conflicting signals. By stimulating aggressive behaviour in males, females can gauge male size and strength and thereby ensure that only the fittest males get to fertilise their eggs.

According to the researchers, "Timing seems to be key to this interaction as urine induces aggression in both sexes. Males will discontinue urine release early in the sexual encounter, which may mitigate the female's antagonism and enhance mating success."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Fiona C Berry and Thomas Breithaupt. To signal or not to signal? Chemical communication by urine-borne signals mirrors sexual conflict in crayfish. BMC Biology, (in press) [link]

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Urine sprays during courtship send mixed messages." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329203232.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2010, March 30). Urine sprays during courtship send mixed messages. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329203232.htm
BioMed Central. "Urine sprays during courtship send mixed messages." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329203232.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
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