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Bright colours, enlarged fins, feather plumes, song, horns, antlers, and tusks are often highly sex dimorphic. Why have males in many animals evolved more conspicuous ornaments, signals, and weapons than females? How can such traits evolve although they may reduce male survival? Such questions prompted Darwin's perhaps most scientifically controversial idea – the theory of sexual selection. It still challenges researchers today as they try to understand how competition for mates can favour the variety of sex-dimorphic traits. Reviewing theoretical and empirical work in this very active field, Malte Andersson, a leading contributor himself, provides a major up-to-date synthesis of sexual selection.
The author describes the theory and its recent development; examines models, methods, and empirical tests; and identifies many unsolved problems. Among the topics discussed are the selection and evolution of mating preferences; relations between sexual selection and speciation; constraints on sexual selection; and sex differences in signals, body size, and weapons. The rapidly growing study of sexual selection in plants is also reviewed. Sexual Selection will interest students, teachers, and researchers in behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology.
"Sexual Selection provides a masterly account of both the complex mathematical theory and the relevant data [...] [It] deserves to be widely read as a definitive summary of what we know about sexual selection and as a guide to what remains to be done."
– Trends in Ecology and Evolution
1 The Theory of Sexual Selection 3
2 Genetic Models of Fisherian Self-Reinforcing Sexual Selection 32
3 Genetic Models of Indicator Mechanisms 53
4 Empirical Methods 80
5 Some Case Studies 100
6 Empirical Studies of Sexually Selected Traits: Patterns 124
7 Sexual Selection in Relation to Mating System and Parental Roles 143
8 Benefits of Mate Choice 184
9 Species Recognition, Sexual Selection, and Speciation 207
10 Constraints 227
11 Sexual Size Dimorphism 247
12 Weapons 295
13 Coloration and Other Visual Signals 315
14 Acoustic Signals 349
15 Chemical Signals 369
16 Alternative Mating Tactics 379
17 Sexual Selection in Plants 396
18 Sexual Selection: Conclusions and Open Questions 433
Author Index 561
Subject Index 581
Taxonomic Index 588
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