Sexual selection

Leia este artigo em português.

Sexual selection is a term coined by Darwin to refer to the traits of speciation that are determined by the sexual appreciation of the members of one biological sex. These traits are often exuberant, spectacular and concentrated in the males of the species. In fact, most of the speciation traits developed by this kind of selection do not favour individual survival, and this is the main reason why they concentrate in the species male.

One of the best-known species with evident and exuberant speciation traits is the peafowl. The male peafowl (also known as peacock) has a huge and odd fatherly tail, vivid cobalt blue feathers covering part of its back and its chest and neck to the head, and vivid orange feathers on the tips of the wings. All this exuberance and exhibitionism turn the peacock into an easy target to predators. On the other hand, the peafowl female (the peahen) has a short and discrete tail, its body covered by feathers of an uninteresting greyish. They easily go unnoticed in their natural habitat and seem to deal quite well with that. Continue reading “Sexual selection”