Article

Sexual Selection

Charlotta Kvarnemo

in Evolutionary Biology


Published online January 2014 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199941728-0029

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In 1871 Darwin introduced the “sexual selection” concept in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, because many conspicuous traits, such as loud calls, gaudy colors, and attention-catching movements, could not be well explained by natural selection. Realizing that many of these traits are associated with competition for mates or mating opportunities, Darwin identified two general processes, intra- and inter-sexual selection. Intra-sexual selection by male-male competition was largely accepted by the scientific community, but the idea that inter-sexual selection by mate choice (and female choice in particular), as a driver of many of the most extravagant traits found in nature, was not widely accepted until almost a hundred years later. Acknowledgements: Thanks to Ingrid Ahnesjö, Ulrika Candolin and Bob Wong for comments.

Article.  8467 words. 

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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