Do Mynahs prefer Peacock feathers of more regular pattern?
Keywords:sexual selection, mating systems, female preference
The “sensory exploitation hypothesis” and the “quality assessment hypothesis”, aimed at explaining female preferences of symmetrical male sexual ornaments, were tested on Mynahs. In the first experiment, two birds were allowed to select between two abstract patterns, one regular and one irregular. The birds preferred the regular patterns but only significantly so in one individual. In the other experiment two other Mynahs were allowed to select between two images of male Peacock tails, a sexual ornament of an unrelated species. Both birds showed a significant preference for the image with a more regular Peacock tail. The results are discussed in the light of the limited sample size. The value of the technique to separate between the hypotheses of female preference for symmetric male characters is discussed.
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