Sexual Selection

Abstract

Sexual selection was proposed by Darwin to explain the evolution of traits that do not contribute to survival or fecundity, such as the elaborate train of the peacock, the horn of the rhinoceros beetle, and the bright red belly of the stickleback. The development of such characteristics gives some individuals higher reproductive success because they achieve more matings or successful fertilizations. Sexual selection operates between individuals of the same sex as they compete for mates, and between the sexes as individual choices are made of mating partner.

Keywords: female choice; fisher's runaway; good genes; sexual dimorphism; sexually antagonistic evolution

References

Bateman AJ (1948) Inter‐sexual selection in Drosophila. Heredity 2: 349–368.

Chapman T, Liddle LF, Kalb JM, Wolfner MF and Partridge L (1995) Cost of mating in Drosophila melanogaster females is mediated by male accessory gland products. Nature 373: 241–244.

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Fisher RA (1930) The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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Møller AP (1994) Sexual Selection and the Barn Swallow. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Further Reading

Andersson M (1994) Sexual Selection. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Bateson P (1983) Mate Choice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Darwin C (1871) The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. London: Murray.

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How to Cite close
Shykoff, Jacqui A(Jul 2003) Sexual Selection. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001718]