Mate selection is costly to female iguanas

Jul 19, 2007

U.S. scientists have found female iguanas in the Galapagos Islands expend a lot of energy picking a mate -- and that can have very negative results.

For some female iguanas such activity saps strength they might have used for finding food, escaping predators or producing eggs, said Princeton University graduate student Maren Vitousek, the study's lead investigator.

The behavior -- which offers some of the first evidence that selecting a desirable partner is energetically costly for females -- is surprising because scientists often assume choosiness demands comparatively little exertion from females.

However, the scientists say avoiding energetic, but unwanted, males is itself exhausting and can result in smaller eggs whose young might be less likely to survive. The team found that during a month-long mating period, particularly choosy females lost as much as 25 percent of their body weight -- far more than the 14 percent lost by the average female.

The study, which also included scientists from Louisiana State University and the University of Birmingham, England, appeared in the June 27 online issue of the journal PLoS One, a publication of the Public Library of Science.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Giant anteaters kill two hunters in Brazil

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rising temperatures can be hard on dogs

42 minutes ago

The "dog days of summer" are here, but don't let the phrase fool you. This hot time of year can be dangerous for your pup, says a Kansas State University veterinarian.

Affirmative action elicits bias in pro-equality Caucasians

52 minutes ago

New research from Simon Fraser University's Beedie School of Business indicates that bias towards the effects of affirmative action exists in not only people opposed to it, but also in those who strongly endorse equality.

Economical and agile offshore construction ship

1 hour ago

Siemens is currently installing the power supply and propulsion systems into a new multi-purpose offshore construction ship for Toisa Ltd. The ship, which is being built by the Korean company Hyundai Heavy ...

Recommended for you

Giant anteaters kill two hunters in Brazil

10 hours ago

Giant anteaters in Brazil have killed two hunters in separate incidents, raising concerns about the animals' loss of habitat and the growing risk of dangerous encounters with people, researchers said.

Rising temperatures can be hard on dogs

Jul 25, 2014

The "dog days of summer" are here, but don't let the phrase fool you. This hot time of year can be dangerous for your pup, says a Kansas State University veterinarian.

User comments : 0