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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
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ScienceShot: Working (Too) Hard for Love
22 May 2013 4:15 pm
Male strawberry poison frogs (Oophaga pumilio) work hard to woo the opposite sex with constant and intense vocalizations until they find a mate. But a new study indicates that all this effort is for naught. Researchers have found that despite the male's best efforts to impress, females simply mate with the closest frog to them. By choosing a neighbor, females minimize the risk of not mating at all, as receptive females abound and they have only a short time to fertilize their eggs. Although this behavior may seem careless, it is the optimal approach in a system where males are constantly fighting to secure a territory, the team reports this month in Frontiers in Zoology. Females can simply choose the closest frog as, after their fighting, all victorious males with an established territory are of an acceptable standard to mate. Why go further afield, when the guy next door is just as good? The males' elaborate courtship display is still essential, however, to ensure females can hear them. Shy and silent males go dateless.
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