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Lecture 16

PSYO 2160 Lecture Notes - Lecture 16: Secondary Sex Characteristic, Mate Choice, Fluctuating Asymmetry

Course Code
PSYO 2160

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February 27th 2015
Basic assumptions
Recognition of potential mates of your species (or subspecies) is
oInterbreeding between species but within a genus: rare
oA few exceptions with potentially high reproductive success
oIn most cases (duck species) it is better to avoid
congeneric that are not your species.
oFemale black ducks in NS don't pay attention to males of
their own species but to males of another species.
oIndividual (incl. kin to avoid inbreeding) and sexual
recognition (sexual imprinting) is important
oIdenti*cation of good genes cues are important: phenotype
If a female coyote spends too much time around stray dogs, they
can be impregnated by dogs.
The con-icts:
What males want and what females want.  men and women do
not want the same thing.
What females want and what is actually “*t”.
What males want and what is actually “*t”.
Females in birds and mammals ((and actually most vertebrates)
typically invest more energy and time in gametes than males.
Epigametic sexual characteristics
Males have important secondary sexual characteristic called
epigametic sexual characteristics to in-uence female choice.
Those characteristics are used in displays to “showo4” and
impress the females.
The basic assumption is that females are strongly attracted to
epigametic sexual characteristics that are highly correlated with
good health (immune system integrity) and good reproductive
capability (reproductive system integrity).
Examples: bright colours, sophisticated plumage, horns and
Men and women choose really di4erent things. Women look at
body, symmetry, facial hair etc.
True for all mating systems?
How do animals know who’s their siblings or relatives?
Even if they know they’re their relatives, would they care?
Even if they're going to do it among them, they’re going to take
the one with the best genes.
Sexual dimorphism: when males and females do not look alike
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