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Animal AthletesAn Ecological and Evolutionary Approach$
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Duncan J. Irschick and Timothy E. Higham

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296545

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296545.001.0001

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Sexual selection and performance

Sexual selection and performance

(p.163) 8 Sexual selection and performance
Animal Athletes

Duncan J. Irschick

Timothy E. Higham

Oxford University Press

Sexually selected traits emerge typically as morphological traits that enhance reproduction by increasing the ability to compete for mates (typically through male competition) or the ability to attract females. Sexual selection thus results in a complex network of traits that enhance fighting ability, such as endurance capacity, bite force, and speed, but can also push males to their performance limit during displays to females. This chapter examines these traits and explores the limits of performance in relation to reproductive success. In addition, it examines how the diversity of sexual structures of animals can be explained through variation in performance traits.

Keywords:   bite force, morphological traits, sexual selection, display, endurance

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