Cognitive Mate Choice

Edited by Michael J. Ryan, Karin L. Akre and Mark Kirkpatrick

in Cognitive Ecology II

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780226169354
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226169378 | DOI:
Cognitive Mate Choice

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  • Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology


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Female choice of mates has been studied for a long time, and as this chapter explains, it is well established that females choose mates based on their perceived quality. It is observed that such female choice has generated sexual selection, which is responsible for the evolution of many features of male mating signals. Social groups can provide females with an enormous amount of information to consider in mate choice, as demonstrated by mate choice copying; thus, a male's utility is defined not only by his phenotype but also by how others in the social group, besides the choosing female, react to his phenotype. The authors analyze how cognitive mechanisms could affect female mate choice and identify exciting directions in this relatively unexplored avenue of research.

Keywords: sexual selection; mate choice; mating signals; cognitive biology; social groups; phenotype

Chapter.  7534 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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