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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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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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