Saturday, August 30, 2008

Photohunter: Beautiful




I thought I'd put up a classic beauty. This guy, like many other males in the animal kingdom, has resorted to flashy, bright, and beautiful colors to attract the females. So the question is, why? Females put a lot of effort into reproduction; eggs are more energetically costly to make than sperm, not to mention the costs of rearing the chick after it is laid. Females typically (at least on land) mate fewer times than males, and with fewer individuals. Because of that, females are super choosy about who they do mate with, often wanting to make sure that they are getting the 'best genes' for their offspring.

Their choosiness often results in visual signals of a male's health and well being. In this case, by growing a long tail, they show they can gather enough food to grow such a tail and are still strong or fast enough to escape predators. The size of the eyespots on the tail has been linked with size of the bird as a hatchling. So picking guys with bigger eyespots may give the female bigger chicks. Bright plumage means that the bird does not have any parasites, this may mean that the male has some nice anti-parasite genes to pass on, or at the very least, that the female won't get any parasites while mating with him.

In short, this beautiful eye-candy is meant to show the females that they are quality picks.

9 comments:

Rho said...

That IS classical! Love it!

Kevin Zelnio said...

This guy, like many other males in the animal kingdom, has resorted to flashy, bright, and beautiful colors to attract the females. It worked for me too!

Amanda said...

Nice capture. I always loved the feathers of peacocks.

Have a great weekend!
Amanda

http://www.amandasweeklyzen.com/2008/08/photohunters-beauty.html

sallyacious said...

He is beautiful. (I suspect he knows it.)

Leslie said...

Eye candy is right! I took some pictures of peacock in April at a zoo, and have used them in several scrapbook pictures as they are so eye catching. :)

Snap Catch said...

Perfect choice for today's theme... mine's up too hope you can drop by... just asking for your vote too,,, thanks a lot! Happy weekend!

YummY! said...

Peacocks are beautiful.

I saw on animal planet that more males are killed in the wild than females cause those tails make it hard to achieve lift off.

Kimo and Sabi said...

That bird is most beeyooteeful!

diXymiss said...

Beautiful bird and very interesting eXplanation. ThanX for stopping by the other day.