VeggieBoards banner

1 - 1 of 1 Posts

2,744 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Looking for an STD-free mate? Check the color of their bill (if you're a mallard duck, that is). Researchers have found that the brighter a mallard's bill, the more effective their sperm is at killing off bacteria.<br><br>
"Under the assumption that bacteria can hurt sperm, it's logical to think that males that have a better capability to kill that bacteria might suffer less of that bacterially educed sperm damage," said Melissah Rowe, of the University of Oslo, in Norway. "Females might be able to avoid a sexually transmitted pathogen and identify males with better sperm."<br><br>
The duck's bill color, which can range from a drab olive green to a bright, raincoat yellow, is a sexually selected characteristic, meaning females prefer males with brighter bills, making these traits more likely to be passed on to offspring. They go for these brighter bills, scientists think, because the color somehow signals a potential mate's fitness, or ability to produce healthy offspring.<br><br>
"Researchers have shown that sexually selected traits can be associated with health, with sperm quality, and with parenting ability," Rowe told LiveScience. "A female choosing a male for the more colorful bill has some fitness benefit, more or higher quality offspring. If she didn't get that benefit the preference for that quality wouldn't evolve."</div>
<br><a href="" target="_blank"></a>
1 - 1 of 1 Posts