15 December 2015

Male Show-Off Addendum

Accepting that last Friday’s blog post, Eating to Impress, was an example of males showing off for females, I thought it might be interesting to explore that topic in the animal world.

A recent research paper on howler monkeys noted that visual ornaments (color), weapon morphology (e.g., antlers, horns and canines) and even vocalizations can play an important role in both male competition and female choice (see howler monkey citation). Today’s addendum features examples. For additional information on any, you can find ample references or refer to Wikipedia.


Female blue-footed boobies are swayed by the brightness of the male booby’s feet. (Photo from multiple websites.)

Male eastern-fence lizards show off their blue and black ventral patches to attract the females. (Photo from www.wraithx.net/images/gallery.php?album=2013-04-wichitas1&img=0177)
To woo the females, the male peacock spider raises one set of legs and a colorful flap-like extension of its abdomen during his mating dance; see www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_yYC5r8xMI. (Photo from multiple websites)
Red stag deer show off their antlers--the bigger the better--to impress the females. (Photo from www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2179426/)
Female dynastinae (aka, rhinoceros or horn beetles) can’t help being attracted to males with bigger horns. (Photo from multiple websites.)
Male hooded seals have an inflatable skull hood and a nasal balloon, inflatable through one or both nostrils, to show the females. (Photo from multiple websites.)
Male kangaroos' forelimb musculature plays a big role in both combat and attracting females; see onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bij.12090/abstract. (Photo from multiple websites.)
Since female howler monkeys are attracted to males with deeper calls, there’s a tradeoff between size of vocal tract and size of testes; see www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822%2815%2901109-4. (Photo from multiple websites.)

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