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Nature. 1989 Jan 12;337(6203):166-9.

Female choice selects for a viability-based male trait in pheasants.

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1
Department of Animal and Theoretical, University of Lund, Sweden.

Abstract

Recent theory on sexual selection suggests that females in species without paternal care choose mates by their secondary sexual characters because these indicate genotypic quality which will be transmitted to the offspring. These ideas are not yet empirically supported as data quantifying the relationship between female mate choice and female reproductive success are lacking. Only in one case, in Colias butterflies, has it been demonstrated unequivocally that females choose 'good genotypes' as mates and there is only one study, on Drosophila, demonstrating that mate choice increases one component of offspring fitness. Spur length of male pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) correlates with various fitness-related properties. We here present the first experimental field data showing that female pheasants select mates on the basis of male spur length and that female mate choice correlates with female reproductive success.

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PMID:
2911350
DOI:
10.1038/337166a0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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