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Competition decides mating strategy in the animal world

London , Mon, 30 May 2011 ANI

London, May 30 (ANI): A new study has shed light on how males of hundreds of animal species alter their strategies for finding a mate depending on the competition they face.


A group of scientists from Simon Fraser University, Concordia University and Dalhousie University interestingly found different species use similar strategies when faced with the same problems in finding a mate, reports Discovery News.


According to the research, as males of many different species of mammal, insect, fish, crustacean, amphibian and reptile compete for females during mating periods, courtship behavior can morph from fighting to desperate searching when males are outnumbered.


"We tend to think that more males lead to more fighting, but after a point, fighting with every male around gets too tiring and risky because of the increased chances of injury. More importantly, having their potential mate stolen away by a more attentive suitor," said lead author Laura K. Weir of Simon Fraser University in the press release from Concordia.


But if there aren't many ladies around, males often try to guard the female they are with to prevent other guys from getting a chance at love.


"Males guard females until they are ready to mate in order to ensure some degree of reproductive success by preventing sperm competition from subsequent males," said Grant.


Males are also more likely to stick around - regardless of the level of interest from females - when mates are scarce. "However, if females are abundant and encounters are frequent, males may abandon females who are not receptive to find one who is ready to mate," said Grant.


The study has been published in The American Naturalist. (ANI)


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