Jean-Guy Godin|, Department of Biology

In nature, most animals do not mate randomly with members of the opposite sex, but rather are choosy when seeking mates. Because females generally pay higher costs of reproduction and have a lower reproductive potential than males over their lifetime, they tend to be coy and more selective of prospective mates than males and males compete among themselves for access to females and invest more in traits (such as courtship displays and ornaments) that are sexually attractive to females. Charles Darwin was the first to propose in the mid-19th century an evolutionary process – ‘sexual selection’ – to explain the ubiquity in nature of female mate choice and elaborate, costly sexual traits in males (for example, the elaborate tail and courtship displays of peacocks) that function to attract females and enhance competitiveness for mates. In this public talk, I will briefly summarize, using examples from the published literature and from my own research on fishes, how females choose mates and the reproductive benefits they may gain in doing so. Recent research on the use of social information by individuals in making mating decisions will be also briefly introduced.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 in
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