Sexual Selection of African Cichlids

Topics: Reproduction, Sexual selection, Gamete Pages: 2 (635 words) Published: January 23, 2012
Sexual selection: it is part of natural selection. Sexual selection acts on an organism's ability to obtain or successfully couple with a mate. Selection makes many organisms go to extreme lengths in order to find a mate such as: peacocks need to develop a beautiful tail, elephant seals fight over territories…. Sexual selection is often powerful enough to produce features that are harmful to the individual’s survival. For example, extravagant and colorful tail feathers or fins are likely to attract predators as well as interested members of the opposite sex. In nature females always invest more energy into producing offspring than males invest, and as a result in most species females are a limiting resource that male have to compete for. In most cases it is the females who have a relatively larger investment in producing each offspring and in contrast sperm are cheaper than eggs. There is such a large production of sperm that a single male can easily fertilize all of female's eggs. So clearly female will not produce more offspring by mating with more than one male since her eggs are the limiting factor where in contrast a male is capable of fathering more offspring if he mates with several females. Generally, a male's potential reproductive success is limited by the number of females he mates with, whereas a female's potential reproductive success is limited by how many eggs she can produce. This results in sexual selection, in which males compete with each other, and females become choosy in which males to mate with. As a result of being heterogamy, males are fundamentally less likely to stick to one female, and females are fundamentally selective when it comes down to selecting a mate. Sexual selection takes two major forms one is called intersexual selection and one is called intrasexual selection. intersexal selection is simply males competing with each other to be chosen by females. Intrasexual selection means that members of the less limited sex which are...
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