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The Evolution of Reproductive Behaviour Chapter 10 Alcock (Animal Behavior) Tom Wenseleers Ethology & Behavioural Ecology.

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Presentation on theme: "The Evolution of Reproductive Behaviour Chapter 10 Alcock (Animal Behavior) Tom Wenseleers Ethology & Behavioural Ecology."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Evolution of Reproductive Behaviour Chapter 10 Alcock (Animal Behavior) Tom Wenseleers Ethology & Behavioural Ecology

2 Plan of talk Evolutionary origins of two sexes Typical sex roles Reversed sex roles Male-male competition Female choice

3 Aims & Objectives Aims –Present a simple model for the evolution of male (small gamete) and female (large gamete) roles. –How sex differences in parental investment select for typical sex roles (e.g. choosy females) + exceptions Objectives –Learn examples –Understand the evolutionary logic in the evolution of gamete size differences and typical sex roles

4 1. Evolutionary origin of two sexes: small gametes (males) & large gametes (females) NOT IN TEXTBOOK!!

5 Origin of gamete size differences Will the mutant producing smaller gametes be selected for? Model Maynard Smith Assume small gametes are half size and that the mutant can make twice as many as a result. YesIf survival of smaller embryo is >50% that of normal embryo NoIf survival of smaller embryo is <50% that of normal embryo Note that small embryo is 75% the size of the large embryo, and that when rare (i.e. new mutant) small gametes only fuse with large gametes. We are only considering "invasion" conditions, meaning a rare small gamete mutant in a population making large gametes.

6 Graphical model The curve represents the survival of the immature individual as a function of the size of the embryo resulting from the fusion of two gametes in an ancestral situation when gametes were of one size.

7 Graphical model The tangent from the origin shows the size of the embryo,a, that maximises survival per unit mass (ie it maximises y/x for biologically permitted pairs of values of x and y, that is the values on the survival curve).

8 Graphical model The tangent from the origin shows the size of the embryo,a, that maximises survival per unit mass (ie it maximises y/x for biologically permitted pairs of values of x and y, that is the values on the survival curve).

9 Graphical model The optimal size of a gamete is half of the optimal size of an embryo.

10 Graphical model Would making half sized gametes be favoured? Yes. A half size gamete fusing with a normal gamete results in an embryo 75% the normal size with survival b. And making twice as many half size gametes gives more surviving offspring since 2.b > a.

11 Conclusion The model in the previous slides presents the idea that from an initial situation of equal-sized gametes, it is possible for smaller gametes to be at an advantage. In other words for two sexes to evolve in a sexually reproducing population in which there is initially only one sex. However, the advantage of the smaller gametes will decrease as they get more common if fusion is at random. E.g., if two small gametes would fuse the embryo might be too small to survive. We might expect small gametes to evolve the ability to avoid fusing with each other. This would cause the evolution of two distinct mating types, males and females.

12 2. The evolution of typical sex roles

13 Angus Bateman & Robert Trivers: typical male and female sex roles come about because of sex differences in investment in individual offspring. MALES invest little in each offspring can potentially have large numbers of offspring can greatly increase fitness by having multiple partners rarely can increase fitness by being choosy FEMALES invest a lot (more than males) in each offspring cannot, potentially, have large numbers of offspring cannot greatly increase fitness by having multiple partners usually can increase fitness by being choosy Typical sex roles

14 Angus John Bateman Robert Trivers

15 Typical sex roles

16 Males: typically brightly coloured gang gang cockatoo male female as a result of female choice males are usually more brightly coloured to attract females

17 Males: typically larger male orangutan as a result of male-male competition males are usually larger and stronger than females female

18 Eager males and choosy females # fertilisable females < sexually active males (♂-biased operational sex-ratio) selects for “eager” males and “choosy” females males should frequently want to mate with females when they don’t want to females should be choosy and reject low- quality males

19 Coercive sex Iron cross blister beetle Not enforced Long courtship Enforced No courtship Struggle

20 Traumatic insemination Male bedbugs have a saber-like penis that they insert directly into the abdomen of their mates prior to injecting them with sperm. Such traumatic insemination may have evolved to overcome female choosiness. Female counterdefence: spermalege (modified region of abdomen where male pierces female). spermalege

21 A counteradaptation to male sexual exploitation simulated penis with sterile needle simulated penis with dirty needle

22 Another female counterdefence Davies Nature 1983 Dunnocks (heggemus): females eject sperm of low-status males

23 Females: typically more choosy Clark & Hatfield J. Psych. Hum. Sex Males Females “Would you go to bed with me tonight?” “Would you go out with me tonight?”

24 Females: typically more choosy Clark & Hatfield J. Psych. Hum. Sex Males Females “Would you go to bed with me tonight?”75% 0% “Would you go out with me tonight?”50% 56% But sex roles still much more equal in humans than in any other primate, because of the large contribution of males in the upbringing of children.

25 Test: sex role reversal How can we test Trivers' idea that typical sex roles come about because of sex differences in investment in individual offspring? For example, that females are more choosy than males because they invest more in the offspring, and so are limited in the number of offspring by how much they can invest. We predict that there will be sex role reversal in those species where males invest a lot in offspring. For example, because the male provides a costly nuptial gift to the female, or provides costly parental care to young.

26 Pipefish: males that get pregnant Hippocampus: brood in pouch Phyllopteryx: brood on tailSyngnathus: brood in pouch

27 Sex role reversal in pipefish Males get "pregnant" and provide oxygen and nutrients to a clutch of eggs held in an egg pouch During the time of male pregnancy females of some species (e.g. Syngnathus scovelli) can produce enough eggs to fill 2 male pouches. Given an even sex ratio, male pouch space is therefore in short supply. Males in these species tend to be sex role reversed, and tend to be choosy (they select females which provide the most eggs) However in other genera, e.g. Hippocampus, the female egg laying rate is limiting. In these there is no sex role reversal.

28 Sex role reversal in pipefish

29 Nutritious spermatophores In many insects, the male transfers nutrients with his sperm or provides a resource for the female to eat when mating ("nuptial gift"). This has been much studied in Orthoptera (crickets, grasshoppers).

30 Sex role reversal in Katydids A female of the Australian Katydid Kawanaphila eats a spermatophore whilst sitting on a pollen-poor kangaroo paw flower.

31 Sex role reversal in Katydids If the difficulty of making nuptial gifts changes, then this may change choosiness. Males should be more choosy when the resources needed to make the nuptial gift are scarce. This was tested in the Australian Katydid Kawanaphila. Food supply varies greatly through the breeding season. When food is limited to pollen-poor kangaroo paw flowers spermatophores are hard to produce, and so very valuable. The males are often choosy and the females compete for males. But when food is abundant males rarely are choosy and females do not compete for males.

32 Sex role reversal in Katydids Male Katydids provide a large nuptial gift at mating. Males are choosy when the resources (pollen) needed to make the gift are scarce.

33 Mormon crickets are large, flightless Orthoptera. Males transfer an enormous edible spermatophore to females when they mate as a nuptial gift. Constitutes 25% of a male's body mass. Sex role reversal in mormon crickets

34 Males transfer an enormous edible spermatophore to females when they mate as a nuptial gift. This constitutes 25% of male's body mass. Males probably can mate only once. Females can produce several egg clutches, provided that they can persuade several males to mate with them. Males put more resources in, so the operational sex ratio is female biased. That is, there are more females looking for males than vice versa. High densities of mormon crickets can form. When this happens, males stridulate. Females come quickly to the male, and jostle to compete for chances to mate with him. Males exercise choice over which females to mate with, preferring larger females who will be more fecund. That is a male chooses a female who will be able to lay more eggs fertilised by his sperm.

35 Sex role reversal in mormon crickets

36 Being choosy is beneficial for males of the mormon cricket (USA). They mate with larger, more fecund, females.

37 Sex role reversal: the wattled jacana Male uniparental care Causes male to carry most of the cost of offspring production Results in choosy males and ornamental, eager females Most birds have biparental care, and these do not show sex role reversal Emlen et al. 1998

38 Conflict over sex roles in hermaphrodites: flatworms Michiels, N.K., and L.J. Newman Sex and violence in hermaphrodites. Nature 391(Feb. 12):647 both want to become the male (minimum investment) "penis fencing": first one who is stabbed by the other’s penis becomes the female and has to produce expensive eggs Pseudobiceros hancockanus

39 penis chewing: the one whose penis is bitten off first becomes the female can take 12 hours A.B. Harper 1988, B.L. Miller 2005 Banana slug Conflict over sex roles in hermaphrodites: banana slug


41 Sexual selection Charles Darwin: made a distinction between natural selection (acts on individual survival) and sexual selection (acts on likelihood to mate) intrasexual selection: competition within one sex for mating opportunities, e.g. male-male fights intersexual selection: likelihood to mate affected by interactions between the two sexes, e.g. as a result of female choice

42 Male ornamentsAntlers selected due to female choice male-male competition intersexual competition intrasexual competition quetzal peacock red deer European stag beetle

43 3. Male-male competition

44 Male-male competition Male-male competition manifests itself in a wide variety of adaptations on the part of males, many of which have a strong behavioural component. Fighting and selection for large body size Alternative mating tactics alternatives that are equally rewarding alternatives not equally rewarding (best of a bad job) Mate guarding Sperm competition etc... etc...

45 Fighting

46 Developmental costs Males of the dung beetle fight for mates. Beetles with long horns (left) have a fighting advantage but tissue that goes into horn construction (blue) is unavailable for the building of eyes (yellow). As a result, males with long horns (left) have smaller eyes than rivals with short horns (right). Both types may well be equally fit.

47 Body size and mating systems in seals In seals, there is strong correlation between sexual dimorphism and polygyny. The sexes are of similar size in species where males cannot monopolise a large number of females. Where males can monopolise a harem of females, there is an advantage to large male size and this results in greater size dimorphism.

48 Body size and mating systems in seals Elephant seal males can weigh 2000 kg. They fight vigorously and dangerously. The winner (beachmaster) commands a harem of dozens of females. The other males skulk away and get few or no matings. But maybe in a future year one of them will be the beachmaster. We can show that fighting is to acquire mates by correlating male dominance with mating success.

49 Body size and mating systems in seals McCann's work on southern elephant seals on South Georgia. Recent DNA analysis shows that mating success is tightly linked with paternity.

50 Sexual dimorphism Big elephant seals can win fights with other males and thereby get high reproductive success by monopolizing a lot of females. There is therefore tremendous selection pressure on elephant seal males to get large. But it takes a lot of time and energy to get big. We can predict that costly investment in the growth and maintenance of large bodies will only occur when exceptional rewards are accrued by large individuals. Also, there will come a point where there is no longer any individual advantage of growing larger or being more fierce (recall the hawk- dove game). Where mating occurs is also very important. If males cannot access and monopolise many females then extreme dimorphism should not occur. E.g., if mating occurs in the ocean vs. on the beach.

51 Dominance correlates with reproductive success In Savanna baboons in Kenya there was a strong correlation between male dominance rank and the ability to monopolize fertile females across all groups studies.

52 Alternative mating tactics

53 Alternative male morphs in an isopod (fighter) (female mimic) (hider) The isopod Paracerceis sculpta lives inside sponges in the Gulf of California. Males occur in three distinct morphs each with a different genotype. Each morph has equal fitness, and has different advantages in terms of mating. The alpha morph can physically fight off other males. But in a sponge with several females, an alpha male and a beta (female mimic) male, it is the female mimic who fathers the most offspring. Thus the advantage to female mimics increases if the alphas become more common. Natural selection results in the three morphs occurring at frequencies at which their fitness is equal.

54 Alternative male tactics in lizards side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana)

55 Lizards play rock-scissors-paper

56 Alternative male tactics in scorpion flies Scorpion flies are not flies but insects in the order Mecoptera. The male genitalia vaguely look like a scorpion tail, hence the name. There is at least one common species in Belgium (Panorpa communis) which can often be seen in hedges and tall vegetation looking for prey.

57 Alternative male tactics in scorpion flies Males adopt different mating tactics depending upon size. The largest guard dead insects who are attractive to females. Smaller males use other tactics, such as producing nuptial gifts. But if the large males are removed smaller males will adopt the large male tactics. Faced with competition from larger males the smaller males adopt tactics which reflect their poor competitive ability. This is known as making the "best of a bad job". Alternative strategies: unequal fitness Scorpion flies (Panorpa): 10 males and 10 females in a cage Large males guard dead insects attractive to females; N=6 matings each Medium-sized males produce salivary gifts to attract females; N=2 matings each Small males force copulations on females N=1 mating each

58 Three male strategies Isopodsequal fitness frequency dependent equilibrium Lizardsnot equal fitness; cyclical dynamics blue beats orange yellow beats blue orange beats yellow Scorpion fliesnot equal fitness; best of bad job strategy large male: guard insect medium male: salivary gift small male: forced copulation

59 Making the best of a bad job In the horseshoe crab males in good condition patrol the water off the beach and find and grasp females heading towards the shore to lay their eggs. Other males (satellite males) in bad condition swim onto the beach alone and crowd around paired couples to try to fertilise some eggs. Attached males fertilise 10 percent more eggs than satellite males, but satellite males still do better than if they would try to attach themselves to a female and be displaced by stronger males.

60 Coalition formation A significant number of subordinate baboon males are able to get access to estrous females by forming coalitions with other low- ranking males. Again, they are making the best of a bad job.

61 Iguana's Small, subordinate iguana males can win out from larger ones by ejaculating beforehand and keeping the sperm up to the brief moment they get a chance to mate, and before they are driven off by larger males.

62 Sperm competition

63 male-male competition can continue after sperm is released in both internally and externally fertilising species: sperm competition

64 Sperm competition in damselflies Calopteryx maculata: black-winged damselfly (N-America) Female may mate with several males. But male has a special penis that can draw out sperm from other males that mated with the female before, and this is % effective. But: female could choose to mate with yet another male. claspers female male male sperm transfer organ

65 Sperm competition in damselflies Calopteryx maculata: black-winged damselfly (N-America) Male penis has lateral horns which act as a brush and draw out sperm from other males.

66 Bean beetle males harm females Crudgington & Siva-Jothy Nature 2000 Bean beetle males harm females during insemination with a specially adapted spikey penis. This prevents the female from mating with another male.

67 Seminal toxins in the fruit fly Male injects female with toxin (protein ACp62F) Sedates female and prevents her from mating with other males But costly to female: shortens her lifespan Chapman et al. Nature 1995

68 Seminal toxins in the fruit fly Holland & Rice: made a selection experiment. They bred males and females forcing them to be either monogamous or polygynous. The males from the monogamous lineage showed reduced expression of the seminal toxins and the females also partly lost their immunity to the toxin.

69 Mate guarding

70 male damselfly graps the female in the tandem position so she cannot mate with another male male blueband goby accompanies female for his whole life

71 Mate guarding in the Seychelles warbler Clutch size = 1 egg; male guards fertile female; guarding ends when egg laid; fake egg can switch off male's guarding early. Seychelles warblers lay a single eggs. When this is laid the male need no longer guard his mate against rivals. By placing a fake eggs in the nest c. 4 days before the female laid the real egg, the experimenters were able to switch off guarding. The result is a massive increase in the number of intrusions, attempted an successful EPCs (extra pair copulations) by males.

72 Mate guarding in the Seychelles warbler Males adjust their mate guarding in relation to the risk of losing paternity to rivals. The more male neighbors around a breeding pair the more time male warblers spend guarding their partner.

73 Mate guarding in blue milkweed beetle Does time spent guarding your partner against other males give more offspring than abandoning her and looking for more mates? Janis Dickinson investigated this in the blue milkweed beetle. The male remains mounted on female's back for some time after copulation.

74 Mate guarding in blue milkweed beetle Dickinson removed male beetles from females. 25% of separated males found a new mate within 30 minutes. So guarding the female has a considerable cost in terms of missed mating opportunities. 50% of females found a new mate after guarding male was removed. So guarding the female has a considerable benefit in preventing the female from remating. Where do the costs and benefits balance out? By plugging these and other factors into a simple model it appears that guarding is beneficial if the last male fathers 40% or more of the female's offspring. Can you understand why this is so? If the last male fathers less offspring, then this means the female is less worth guarding (you were the last but probably not the only male to mate her), and if another male mates her he won't father many of her offspring anyway.

75 Mate guarding in blue milkweed beetle

76 4. Female choice

77 Female choice to obtain direct material benefits female choice most common several mechanisms, e.g. –accepting sperm of males with large nuptial gifts –rejecting sperm from low status males –remating or not –also: pollen incompatibility in plants - reject own pollen usually gives direct material benefits

78 Accepting sperm of males with large nuptial gifts: hanging scorpionflies Females copulate with a male for as long as they can keep on feeding on the nuptial gift. If this takes less than 5 minutes no sperm is transferred; 20 mins is required for complete transfer.

79 Remating or not in redback spiders Male transfers sperm and then commits suicide by jumping into the jaws of the female who then usually eats the male. This may seem maladaptive, but it is not: feeding the female by committing suicide reduces the chances that the female will mate with and dine on another male. Also, chances for a male to find another female are very slim because of intense predation. The selective pressure caused by females who may are may not remate has led to the evolution of male suicide.

80 Sperm ejection in Chickens Female chickens who have mated with a low status male are more likely to eject the sperm from their reproductive tract.

81 Sperm ejection in Dunnocks Dunnocks (heggemus): male may peck at partner's cloaca if another male has been near her. In response she may eject a droplet of fluid containing sperm.

82 Female choice for males that provide more care Females of the fifteen-spined stickleback associate more with males that shake their bodies more frequently, which is a good indicator of how well they will be able to oxygenate the eggs later on.

83 Female choice for males that provide more care Sedge warbler (rietzanger): male song repertoire indicative of how good a father they will be later on. Females prefer to mate with males with a bigger song repertoire.

84 Female choice without direct material benefits previous examples: consistent with good parent theory but also in species without paternal care females often prefer distinct males, e.g. with brightly coloured plumage why?


86 Healthy mate theory: bowerbirds Male bowerbirds with high-quality bowers are less likely to carry ectoparasites in their feathers, so females that copulate with good bower builders will be less likely to pick up feather lice.

87 Good genes theory: sedge warblers Sedge warbler males: repertoire size is correlated with male heterozygosity. Females prefer males with a large repertoire and therefore also more outbred males. This increases the heterozygosity, and genetic quality, of the female's offspring.

88 Good genes theory: starlings Starlings (spreeuwen): males that sing at a higher rate have a stronger immune response measured by the swelling of a foreign chemical into their wings. Since females prefer males with high song rates they could be acquiring mates with strong immune systems, which will also be passed on to their offspring.

89 Good genes theory: Hamilton & Zuk hypothesis Hamilton & Zuk: in species subject to parasitic infection, individuals that can signal their relatively parasite-free state should be desirable males. They further argued that only high quality, parasite-free males would be able to produce costly, bright plumage displays (cf. Zahavian handicap). This would lead to plumage coloration being an honest signal of the male's ability to resist parasitic infections. Supportive evidence: correlation between plumage brightness and the incidence of blood parasites across a large sample of birds.

90 Good genes theory: peacock Male peacocks with larger eye-spots on their tails produce offspring that survive better when released from captivity.

91 Runaway selection theory Russell Lande & Mark Kirkpatrick Genes responsible for the male display have a pleiotropic effect when present in females and causes them to prefer males producing the display. Also has the advantage that the males that a female produces will also be preferred by females ("sexy sons"). Could work even if it causes females to prefer purely arbitrary characters with no survival advantage, or even a survival disadvantage.

92 Chase-away selection theory (preexisting bias) (exploitation) Brett Holland & Bill Rice Lesson 2: The Evolution of Communication (Chapter 9 in Alcock)

93 A preexisting sensory bias Male and female guppies eat Clusia fruits which are orange due to the presence of carotenoids. The same carotenoids also accumulate in males and lead to colourful patterns. Observation: females prefer colourful males. Why? Preexisting sensory bias for detecting orange fruits.

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