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Polyandry, Sperm Competition, and Sexual Conflict Erik Daniels Amy Gordon Elaine Ngo Elgar, M.A. (2005). Polyandry, sperm competition, and sexual conflict.

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Presentation on theme: "Polyandry, Sperm Competition, and Sexual Conflict Erik Daniels Amy Gordon Elaine Ngo Elgar, M.A. (2005). Polyandry, sperm competition, and sexual conflict."— Presentation transcript:

1 Polyandry, Sperm Competition, and Sexual Conflict Erik Daniels Amy Gordon Elaine Ngo Elgar, M.A. (2005). Polyandry, sperm competition, and sexual conflict. In J.J. Bolhuis & L. Giraldeau (Eds.), The behavior of animals: Mechanisms, function, and evolution (pp ). Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing.

2 Introduction What is polyandry? What is polyandry? Sperm competition Sperm competition Sexual conflict Sexual conflict Elgar, M.A. (2005). Polyandry, sperm competition, and sexual conflict. In J.J. Bolhuis & L. Giraldeau (Eds.), The behavior of animals: Mechanisms, function, and evolution (pp ). Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing.

3 Benefits of Polyandry: Why females mate with several mates Direct material benefits Direct material benefits  Increased paternal care from partners  More than one nuptial gift  Increased fertility assurance  Decreased male aggression and infanticide Elgar, M.A. (2005). Polyandry, sperm competition, and sexual conflict. In J.J. Bolhuis & L. Giraldeau (Eds.), The behavior of animals: Mechanisms, function, and evolution (pp ). Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing.

4 Benefits of Polyandry: Why females mate with several mates Genetic benefits Genetic benefits  Guarantee of genetic diversity  Genetic complementarity  Ensuring viable genes  Acquiring attractive genes Elgar, M.A. (2005). Polyandry, sperm competition, and sexual conflict. In J.J. Bolhuis & L. Giraldeau (Eds.), The behavior of animals: Mechanisms, function, and evolution (pp ). Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing.

5 Male Adaptations to Counter Polyandry Prevent competition between sperm: Prevent competition between sperm:  Mate guarding  Reducing or inhibiting female receptivity  Placing physical barriers to insemination in females  Sexual interference of other males  Removal of rival males’ sperm Elgar, M.A. (2005). Polyandry, sperm competition, and sexual conflict. In J.J. Bolhuis & L. Giraldeau (Eds.), The behavior of animals: Mechanisms, function, and evolution (pp ). Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing.

6 Male Adaptations to Counter Polyandry Sperm in competition: Sperm in competition:  Fair raffles  Loaded raffles and knowledge of roles in fair raffles Elgar, M.A. (2005). Polyandry, sperm competition, and sexual conflict. In J.J. Bolhuis & L. Giraldeau (Eds.), The behavior of animals: Mechanisms, function, and evolution (pp ). Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing.

7 Fair Raffles Elgar, M.A. (2005). Polyandry, sperm competition, and sexual conflict. In J.J. Bolhuis & L. Giraldeau (Eds.), The behavior of animals: Mechanisms, function, and evolution (pp ). Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing. Vs.

8 Sexual Conflict Sexual cannibalism Sexual cannibalism Genital damage Genital damage Males opposing female Males opposing female copulation attempts Female opposing male Female opposing male copulation attempts copulation attempts Elgar, M.A. (2005). Polyandry, sperm competition, and sexual conflict. In J.J. Bolhuis & L. Giraldeau (Eds.), The behavior of animals: Mechanisms, function, and evolution (pp ). Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing.

9 Critical Analysis Interesting/informative points: Interesting/informative points: 1.Thoroughly explains why females engage in polyandry than just the consequences of polyandry 2.Diversity of male traits have evolved in response to risk of sperm competition 3.Females are not just passive in mating. By using the various methods we discussed, they are able to maximize genetic diversity. Elgar, M.A. (2005). Polyandry, sperm competition, and sexual conflict. In J.J. Bolhuis & L. Giraldeau (Eds.), The behavior of animals: Mechanisms, function, and evolution (pp ). Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing.

10 Critical Analysis Elgar, M.A. (2005). Polyandry, sperm competition, and sexual conflict. In J.J. Bolhuis & L. Giraldeau (Eds.), The behavior of animals: Mechanisms, function, and evolution (pp ). Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing. Weak points: Weak points: 1.Author was unable to come up with the evolutionary origins of polyandry 2.It would be interesting to see more examples of polyandry in a wider variety of animal species

11 Test Questions 1. Why do some animals inflict “Genital Damage”? a. Because it is pleasurable for the females b. It is an accidental adaptation that causes damage during mating c. To decrease the chance of extra-pair copulations. d. No animals inflict genital damage during mating 2. What is the most widespread mechanism in animals to prevent sperm competition? a. Mate guarding. b. Mating plugs. c. Sperm removal d. Reducing female receptivity 3. Which of these is not considered a benefit of polyandry? a. Guarantee of genetic diversity b. Paternity assurance c. More than one nuptial gift d. Decreased male aggression and infanticide


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