Male courtship displays, ornaments and female mate choice in captive red jungle fowl

M. Zuk, S. L. Popma, T. S. Johnsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


In Gallus gallus the traits most highly correlated with behavioural displays were those most relied upon by females in making mate choice decisions. These traits (comb length, comb colour, eye colour, and spur length) are highly condition-dependent. Females chose males that displayed at a greater overall intensity in the period after the female was allowed to interact with the males (post-release), but were indifferent to displays during the period before the female could approach the roosters (pre-release). After accounting for the effect of morphology on mate choice, waltzes were the only display that explained a significant amount of variation in male mating success. Chosen and rejected males had different display rates even when the female was not present. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-836
Number of pages16
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - 1995

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1) Author for correspondence; email: 2) We are grateful to Joseph DECRUYENAERE, Paul HAMILTON, Cassandra HAYEST, roy MAC-LARTY, and Vered MIRMOVITCfoHr help with behavioural observations and care of the birds. John T. ROTENBERRY gave useful advice, and the comments of an anonymous reviewer were most helpful. This research was supported by NSF grants IBN-9120902 and DEB-9257759 and supplements to M.Z.

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