Friday, November 30, 2007

Female Preference in Yellowthroats

Studies have shown that female yellowthroats prefer different traits in their males. Corey Freeman-Gallant and his team at Skidmore College found that females in his New York area prefer males with the most vivid yellow bibs. Because bright pigments are formed from carotenoids, which are antioxidants, this coloration is an indication of good health. In the same year though, researcher Peter Dunn of the University of Wisconsin showed that the females in Wisconsin were attracted to males depending on the size of their black masks. This seemed odd because the black mask showed no signs of better health. The biologists brought a sample of female yellowthroats from both areas together and tested how the females responded to the different traits of males. During their experiment in the aviary it was confirmed that both studies were correct; females from New York liked yellow bibs, and females from Wisconsin liked black masks. This variation in female preference for different traits in males shows that female mating preferences vary geographically. It has been theorized that this type of variation in preference could lead to speciation which they believe could be what is occurring in these populations of yellowthroats. More will be found as more research is done.

Posted By Hollis Martin (10)


At 4:50 PM, Blogger PWH said...

I thought that your blog was very fitting for the things we have been learning in class. I think that your blog is a perfect example of "sexual selection". The only thing that threw me off a little bit was your first sentence "..female yellowthroats prefer different traits in their mates". It's a little confusing because i didn't know what you were comparing to when you said "different". Maybe you could say different from each other?
Well nice work, and again i thought it was a good choice of topic.

Posted By: Natalie Nicholson

At 9:09 PM, Blogger Kyle said...

Interesting and very relevant to the class. I wonder why the black mask would be preferred by the females. Perhaps the black shape is associated to some other sign stimulus in their environment. Only two bits of advice, the word "Preference" in the title is spelled wrong, and if possible try to make the link part of the first sentence, i.e. click on the word studies. Great job all around, I like it!

Posted by: Kyle McCarthy

At 9:52 PM, Blogger PWH said...

I think this was a very interesting article. I think that the explanation of the different traits preferred by the female yellowthroats. I think it's really interesting that you found an article pertaining to what we're discussing in class. It would be really cool to see if their theory is correct. Great job!

Katie Ensor


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