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The effects of life history and sexual selection on male and female plumage colouration [Nature]

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Classical sexual selection theory1, 2, 3, 4 provides a well-supported conceptual framework for understanding the evolution and signalling function of male ornaments. It predicts that males obtain greater fitness benefits than females through multiple mating because sperm are cheaper to produce than eggs. Sexual selection should therefore lead to the evolution of male-biased secondary sexual characters. However, females of many species are also highly ornamented5, 6, 7. The view that this is due to a correlated genetic response to selection on males1, 8 was widely accepted as an explanation for female ornamentation for over 100 years5 and current theoretical9, 10 and empirical11, 12, 13 evidence suggests that genetic constraints can limit sex-specific trait evolution.(...)

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