Behavioral Research Blog

Bigger is not always better: hypothesis testing in sexual evolution

Posted by Olga Krips on Aug 20, 2015

Sexual selection can lead to fascinating phenomena. We are all familiar with the fabulous color display of male peacocks to attract females. Less well known, but definitely not less interesting, are stalk-eyed flies. Due to the fact that the females strongly prefer males with wideset eyes, the males have developed eyes on stalks that can be larger than their bodies. And did you know that the Irish elk developed antlers through sexual selection that span over two-and-a-half meters? Some people believe that the males with antlers this large could hardly move through the forest, which may have led to the species’ extinction. It’s no wonder that sexual preference is so well-studied with so many hypotheses formulated in relation to it.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, insect behavior, Tracking insects, sex-specific behavior, mites

How males and females are different: can this explain autism?

Posted by G. Smit on Jan 22, 2015

Women and Venus, men and Mars, right? Men and women are fundamentally, biologically, and emotionally different. We also act differently in social situations. Wouter van den Berg and his colleagues at the Erasmus University Medical Center (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) recently published an interesting study that, using mice, shows the establishment of social hierarchies as being sex-dependent.

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Topics: mice, social hierarchy, testosterone, gender differences, sex-specific behavior, automated tube test

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