Mate choice, or intersexual selection, is an evolutionary process in which selection of a mate depends on attractiveness of its traits. It is one of two components of sexual selection (the other is male-male competition or intrasexual selection). Darwin first introduced his ideas on sexual selection in 1871 but advances in genetic and molecular techniques have led to major progress in this field recently.
Five mechanisms that explain the evolution of mate choice are currently recognized. They are direct phenotypic benefits, sensory bias, Fisherian runaway, indicator traits, and genetic compatibility. These mechanisms can co-occur and there are many examples of each.
In systems where mate choice exists, one sex is competitive with same-sex members and the other sex is choosy (selective when it comes to picking individuals to mate with). In most species, females are the choosy sex that discriminate amongst competitive males but there are several examples of reversed roles (see below).
... courtship and mating behaviour, where males build a bower to attract mates ... Uy and collaborators have shown that mate-searching females commonly visit multiple bowers, often returning to the male several times, watching his elaborate courtship displays and ... The high degree of effort directed at mate choice by females and the large skews in mating success directed at males with quality displays suggests ...
... Mate choice behaviors are thought to be important forces that can result in speciation events because the strength of selection for attractive traits is often very strong ... There is evidence of early speciation through mate preference in guppies ... In a mate choice study, female guppies were shown to prefer males with color patterns that are typical of their home stream ...
... Females use mate choice to reject unwanted and unfit males by cannibalizing them. ... Mate choice often correlates size with fitness level smaller males tend to be less aggressive and display low level of fitness smaller males are therefore ... cannibalize males displaying less aggressive behavior and mate with males displaying more aggressive behavior, showing a preference for this trait, which, along with large body size, displays high male quality ...
Famous quotes containing the words choice and/or mate:
“Blunders are an inescapable feature of war, because choice in military affairs lies generally between the bad and the worse.”
—Allan Massie (b. 1938)
“The boatswains mate was very sedate,
Yet fond of amusement, too;
And he played hopscotch with the starboard watch,
While the captain tickled the crew.”
—Charles Edward Carryl (18411920)