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Mate Choice and Sexual Selection in Birds

How birds choose their mates and the evolutionary outcomes of those choices.

Episode:
27
Date:
April 27, 2021
Categories:

Listen to the Episode

Mate Choice and Sexual Selection in Birds

Summary

This episode is all about how birds choose their mates and the evolutionary outcomes of those choices.

A lot of what we’re talking about today has to do with sexual selection, which is a special form of natural selection. 

In sexual selection, individuals compete for mates. This is when females and males choose their partners based on specific traits. Traits like plumage color or song, behavior, etc.

This choosiness has resulted in some spectacular features in birds. Many of the things we love most about birds are consequences of sexual selection.

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Research Citations


Photos of Some Birds Mentioned

Male Andean Cock-of-the-Rock (Rupicola peruvianus). Photo by ondrejprosicky/Adobe.
Male Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis). Photo by dennisjacobsen/Adobe.
Rock Sparrows (Petronia petronia). Photo by Yasin/Adobe.
Male Long-tailed Manakin (Chiroxiphia linearis). Photo by phototrip.cz/Adobe.
Male Crimson-backed Tanager (Ramphocelus dimidiatus). Microstructures in this bird's feathers interact with pigments and light to create the colors 'super black' and 'velvet red.' Photo by lucaar/Adobe.

Attributions

This work by Ivan Phillipsen is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

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