Handicap principle implies emergence of dimorphic ornaments

Sara M. Clifton*, Rosemary I. Braun, Daniel M. Abrams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Species spanning the animal kingdom have evolved extravagant and costly ornaments to attract mating partners. Zahavi’s handicap principle offers an elegant explanation for this: ornaments signal individual quality, and must be costly to ensure honest signalling, making mate selection more efficient. Here, we incorporate the assumptions of the handicap principle into a mathematical model and show that they are sufficient to explain the heretofore puzzling observation of bimodally distributed ornament sizes in a variety of species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20161970
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume283
Issue number1843
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 30 2016

Keywords

  • Competition
  • Evolution
  • Handicap principle
  • Natural selection
  • Ornament
  • Sexual selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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