Male attractiveness and differential testosterone investment in zebra finch eggs

D Gil, Jefferson Alden Graves, Neil Hazon, A Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

444 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Good-genes hypotheses of sexual selection predict that offspring fathered by preferred males should have increased viability resulting from superior genetic quality. Several studies of birds have reported findings consistent with this prediction, but maternal effects are an important confounding variable. Those studies that have attempted to control for maternal effects have only considered differential maternal investment after egg laying. However, female birds differentially deposit testosterone in the eggs, and this influences the development of the chick. This study shows that female birds deposit higher amounts of testosterone and 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone in their eggs when mated to more attractive males.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-128
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume286
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1999

Keywords

  • OBESE STRAIN CHICKENS
  • EXTRA-PAIR PATERNITY
  • GENETIC QUALITY
  • MATERNAL TESTOSTERONE
  • TAENIOPYGIA-GUTTATA
  • ULTRAVIOLET VISION
  • BARN SWALLOW
  • BODY-MASS
  • IMMUNOCOMPETENCE
  • INDICATOR

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