sexual selection

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Related to Mate choice: assortative mating

sexual selection:

see selectionselection.
In Darwinism, the mechanism of natural selection is considered of major importance in the process of evolution. Popular formulations sometimes envisage a struggle for existence in which direct competition for mates or for various factors in the environment (e.g.
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Sexual Selection


the particular form of natural selection distinguished by the evolutionary development of secondary sex characteristics. These characteristics include the bright nuptial plumage of many birds, including ducks and grouse, the dances of insects, the mating calls of birds, the fighting of male birds and mammals, the varied sound signals of males used to attract females, and the odoriferous glands of insects and mammals used for attracting the opposite sex. Prominent characteristics, such as coloration, develop chiefly in males. Females, especially during the reproductive period, are usually protected by appropriate behavior, coloration, and form.

The primary basis for sexual selection was the divergence in the identifying characteristics of males and females, which probably facilitated inbreeding of the same species and prevented crossbreeding with other species. Subsequently, individuals with more pronounced sexual characteristics attracted the opposite sex more easily and had the advantage in reproduction.

The ethological or behavioral mechanisms of isolation are partially affected by sexual selection. The course of sexual selection sometimes conflicts with other trends of natural selection. Genotypes that are preserved make reproduction more successful but do not increase the viability of the species as a whole. However, this does not justify contrasting sexual selection with natural selection or considering it an independent factor in evolution. Sexual selection was first suggested by C. Darwin in 1859 and later substantiated in 1871.


Darwin, C. Proiskhozhdenie vidov putem estestvennogo otbora. In Soch, vol. 3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1939. (Translated from English.)
Darwin, C. Proiskhozhdenie cheloveka i polovoi otbor. In Soch., vol. 5. Moscow, 1953. (Translated from English.)
Shmal’gauzen, I. I. Problemy darvinizma, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1969.


sexual selection

[¦seksh·ə·wəl si′lek·shən]
A special form of natural selection responsible for the evolution of traits that promote success in competition for mates.
References in periodicals archive ?
Description of male courtship displays: Heterophallus milleri males showed conspicuous courtship displays during our mate choice tests.
Male mate choice decisions would be expected to be based on female features that are correlated with potential reproductive success, such as body size (Gwynne 1991; Owens & Thompson 1994; Altmann 1997).
modern human mate choices do not reflect predictions of trade-offs from evolutionary theory but instead follow a `likes-attract' pattern, where people choose mates who match their self-perceptions.
Swaying mate choice with odour would be easier and cheaper than artificial insemination and also has the benefit of preserving animals' natural mating behaviour.
The monogamous social organization of Aotus azarai offers a unique opportunity to study the role of MHC genes in mate choice.
He said: "MHC genes influence individual body odour, which is used as a cue for dissimilarity in the mate choice of mice and humans.
We discuss the data in the context of mate choice, familiarity, female deprivation, and sexual satiation.
But we wish to go further than these generalizations by making a specific proposition: handaxes were products of sexual selection and as such were integral to the processes of mate choice within socially complex and competitive groups.
A symmetric individual is a good mate choice, so the theory goes,'' Thornhill said.
However, recent evidence suggests that song in suboscines plays an important role in signaling and mate choice (Murphy et al.
Finally volume three presents a number of instructive case studies integrating across behavioral modalities or across species, including a final chapter on human mate choice and its analogs in other animal behavior.