Sexual Selection: A Very Short Introduction
- Author: Marlene Zuk
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
- ISBN: 9780198778752
What is responsible for the differences between the sexes in so many animals, from the brilliant plumage of birds of paradise to the antlers on deer? And why are the traits that distinguish the sexes sometimes apparently detrimental to survival? Even when they look more or less alike, why do males and females sometimes behave differently? Questions like these have intrigued scientists and the public alike for many years, and new discoveries are showing us both how
wildly variable the natural world is, and how some basic principles can help explain much of that variation. Like natural selection, sexual selection is a process that results from differential representation of genes in successive generations. Under sexual selection, however, the crucial
characteristics that determine whether an individual reproduces depend on sexual competition, rather than survival ability.