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Lecture 14

BIOL 3062 Lecture 14: mating systems

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Dalhousie University
BIOL 3062
Andy Horn

Lecture 14: Mating systems Mating systems - Pattern of male/female pairings across systems - Monogamy o One male/one female - Polygamy o Polygyny ▪ One male, multiple females ▪ Female defense • One male defends a group of females from other males ▪ Resource defense • One male defends the resources females use o Polyandry ▪ Female with several male mates - Promiscuity o Everybody mates with everybody else ▪ No sex bias for who has more mates/mating opportunities Mammalian mating systems - Females selected to choose places with good resources as they usually are the sex with more parental investment o Females lactate, therefore spend more time and energy caring for young - Mating system is dependent on: o Female ranging behaviour ▪ Females dispersing according to resources, males dispersing according to where females are • Males can either follow females, or go and defend territory where there are good resources o Economics of defences ▪ Range defence depends on the distribution of females – also influences mating system • When females are scattered and difficult to find, prefer monogamy - Mainly maternal care o Results in polygyny Female home range - Low food abundance, females will have very large territories to ensure they get enough food o Preferred mating system – monogamy ▪ Males only able to defend one female due to territory being so large – too much distance between various female’s territories - Lots of food available o Females have smaller ranges – don’t’ need as much space to ensure lots of food ▪ Preferred mating system – polygyny • Males able to defend multiple females Female and male mating interactions - Females solitary, defen
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