Effects of experimental manipulation of male secondary sex characters on female mate preference in red jungle fowl

Marlene Zuk, J. David Ligon, Randy Thornhill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

114 Scopus citations

Abstract

In previous mate choice experiments, female red jungle fowl, Gallus gallus, preferred males with long, bright red combs, red eyes, and (in one case) long tail feathers. When the colour and/or length of the comb was manipulated experimentally by placing artificial Latex combs over the natural ones, hens seemed to ignore the manipulated character and focused instead on traits such as hackle feather colour that had been secondary in importance in previous mate choice tests conducted with unmanipulated birds, but not as much so as the comb or eye characters. Similar results were obtained when tail length was experimentally lengthened or shortened. Rather than using only one or two traits as criteria of choice, females may rely on an additive or redundant suite of characters, with each providing part of the information used in making mate choice decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1006
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume44
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1992

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of experimental manipulation of male secondary sex characters on female mate preference in red jungle fowl'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this