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Latest Sexual selection Stories

Asymmetric Warfare Between Earwigs Probed By Researchers
2012-08-16 07:07:24

Symmetrical looks are highly prized in the animal kingdom, but according to a new report by San Francisco State University biologists on an insect called the maritime earwig, asymmetry might come with its own perks. Animals–including humans–seem to use symmetry as a shortcut for evaluating potential mates. Symmetrical features usually indicate normal development, while asymmetry could point to an underlying developmental defect that would render a mate less fit. "The...

2012-08-04 02:32:38

Why do adults continue to play throughout their lives while most other mature mammals cease such behavior? According to researchers at Penn State, playfulness may serve an evolutionary role in human mating preferences by signaling positive qualities to potential long-term mates. "Humans and other animals exhibit a variety of signals as to their value as mates," said Garry Chick, professor and head of the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management. "Just as birds display bright...

2012-06-26 14:33:19

A classic study from more than 60 years ago suggesting that males are more promiscuous and females more choosy in selecting mates may, in fact, be wrong, say life scientists who are the first to repeat the historic experiment using the same methods as the original. In 1948, English geneticist Angus John Bateman published a study showing that male fruit flies gain an evolutionary advantage from having multiple mates, while their female counterparts do not. Bateman's conclusions have...

Firefly Romance
2012-06-26 10:13:17

New insights into what goes on when the lights go off The twinkling of fireflies heralds summer romance for these magical insects. While courting on-the-wing, male fireflies attract females' attention with bioluminescent flashes. But new research from biologists at Tufts University's School of Arts and Sciences, published online in Proceedings of the Royal Society - Biological Sciences, reveals that, after the lights go out, female fireflies prefer substance over flash. They seem to...

Better Looking Birds Get More Help With Their Chicks
2012-06-25 10:03:20

In choosing a mate both males and females rely on visual cues to determine which potential partner will supply the best genes, best nesting site, best territory, and best parenting skills. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Frontiers in Zoology shows that male blue tits' (Cyanistes caeruleus) parental behavior is determined by female ornamentation (ultraviolet coloration of the crown), as predicted by the differential allocation hypothesis (DAH). DAH makes the...

Monogamy Evolved From Chest-Thumping To Caregiving
2012-05-29 12:14:10

John Neumann for RedOrbit.com Chest-thumping and grunting alpha males, a study suggests, may be losing the battle for preferable females to males who can demonstrate caregiving and the ability to provide for a family, according to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research team says they have demonstrated mathematically that the transition to pair-bonding was based on female choice and faithfulness, so that providing for females became a...

2012-05-28 19:26:11

Faithful females who choose good providers key to evolutionary shift to modern family, study finds In early human evolution, when faithful females began to choose good providers as mates, pair-bonding replaced promiscuity, laying the foundation for the emergence of the institution of the modern family, a new study finds. The study helps answer long-standing questions in evolutionary biology about how the modern family, characterized by intense, social attachments with exclusive mates,...

2012-05-03 18:49:35

At one University of Cincinnati laboratory, the phrase “battle of the sexes” is taking on new meaning, with implications for our understanding of evolution. In a paper published Thursday, May 3, in the journal Evolution, University of Cincinnati graduate student Karl Grieshop and Michal Polak, associate professor of biological sciences at UC, examine the role of genital spines in the reproductive success of a species of fruit fly. Their investigation identifies the specific...

2012-05-03 18:46:09

Study is first to find possible causative link but biological reasons are unknown For the first time, scientists have found what could be a causative link between the concentration of circulating Y-chromosome fetal cells in women who gave birth to children of either sex and their risk of later developing breast cancer and colon cancer. The findings show that the presence of fetal cells is a double-edged sword: Women with the lowest concentration of fetal cells were 70 percent less likely...

2012-05-03 18:37:58

A study carried out by researchers from Spain, the Netherlands and Argentina suggests that in a work environment, sexual competition affects women more than men. However, a rival's social skills provoke jealousy and professional envy equally in both sexes. A group of researchers from the universities of Valencia, Groningen (the Netherlands) and Palermo (Argentina) have analysed the differences between men and women in their way of feeling envious and jealous at work. "Women with a high...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'