Mate Choice

Mate choice, or intersexual selection, is an evolutionary process in which selection of a mate depends on attractiveness of its traits. It is one of two components of sexual selection (the other is male-male competition or intrasexual selection). Darwin first introduced his ideas on sexual selection in 1871 but advances in genetic and molecular techniques have led to major progress in this field recently.

Five mechanisms that explain the evolution of mate choice are currently recognized. They are direct phenotypic benefits, sensory bias, Fisherian runaway, indicator traits, and genetic compatibility. These mechanisms can co-occur and there are many examples of each.

In systems where mate choice exists, one sex is competitive with same-sex members and the other sex is choosy (selective when it comes to picking individuals to mate with). In most species, females are the choosy sex that discriminate amongst competitive males but there are several examples of reversed roles (see below).

Read more about Mate Choice:  Origins and History, Direct and Indirect Benefits, Mechanisms, Male Mate Choice/Sex Role Reversal, Speciation By Mate Choice

Famous quotes containing the words mate and/or choice:

    So slowly the hot elephant hearts
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    hiding their fire.
    —D.H. (David Herbert)

    The base of all artistic genius is the power of conceiving humanity in a new, striking, rejoicing way, of putting a happy world of its own creation in place of the meaner world of common days, of generating around itself an atmosphere with a novel power of refraction, selecting, transforming, recombining the images it transmits, according to the choice of the imaginative intellect. In exercising this power, painting and poetry have a choice of subject almost unlimited.
    Walter Pater (1839–1894)