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Trends Ecol Evol. 2001 Jun 1;16(6):308-313.

Can older males deliver the good genes?


Females of many species choose to mate with old rather than young males, possibly because older males pass superior genes on to their offspring. Recent theoretical and empirical investigations have rejuvenated interest in the evolution of mating preferences based on age, and in the relationship between longevity and fitness. If the cost of signalling is a reduction in future survival and reproduction, mate choice based on age is one possible outcome when males signal their genetic quality. These recent investigations highlight the importance of understanding sexual selection from a life-history perspective.

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