Presentation Title

Habits of Life

Major

Biology

Anticipated Graduation Year

2024

Access Type

Open Access

Abstract

Despite sharing largely similar genomes, substantial behavioral and morphological differences between females and males can be observed in species across the animal kingdom. These differences, collectively called sexual dimorphism, may be extreme, or there may be considerable overlap between the measured traits of each sex. This phenomenon is a product of sexual selection, or non-random mating through the preference for certain characteristics.

One example of sexual dimorphism is the coloration of the northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) where males have bright red plumage and females are primarily light brown. This difference in morphology has been linked to the greater mating success of brighter males (Wolfenbarger 1999) such that this sex-specific ornamentation is selected for over evolutionary time.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Habits of Life

Despite sharing largely similar genomes, substantial behavioral and morphological differences between females and males can be observed in species across the animal kingdom. These differences, collectively called sexual dimorphism, may be extreme, or there may be considerable overlap between the measured traits of each sex. This phenomenon is a product of sexual selection, or non-random mating through the preference for certain characteristics.

One example of sexual dimorphism is the coloration of the northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) where males have bright red plumage and females are primarily light brown. This difference in morphology has been linked to the greater mating success of brighter males (Wolfenbarger 1999) such that this sex-specific ornamentation is selected for over evolutionary time.