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Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
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ScienceShot: Drab Guppies Find a Way to Score
12 February 2013 7:01 pm
Drab male guppies have hit upon a mating strategy that could be easily adapted to the bar scene: Home in on the female besieged by ugly males. In lab-raised descendents of wild guppies (Poecilia reticulata) females prefer mates with large orange body spots (image). But a new study suggests that less-colorful male guppies (inset) aren't totally at the mercy of picky females. In lab tests where researchers placed a female guppy and two colorful males in compartments at one end of an aquarium and a female and two lackluster males at the other end, a male released in the center of the tank more often gravitated toward the end with the less colorful competitors, especially if the test male had less than 9% of its body covered by orange spots and had a history of rejection by females, the researchers report online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. A previous lack of success in mating presumably makes a male recognize his own plainness, which in turn leads him to choose courtship situations where his chances of success will be greater, the researchers suggest. The tactic also explains why drab males persist in guppy populations: By choosing to woo females surrounded by unexciting suitors, even a homely guppy scores every once in a while.
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