Female lizards with beards not attractive, report other lizards

by Rebecca on November 22, 2013

in Animals in the News

Christian Science Monitor

Scientists say that natural selection could trim out female lizards with too much of a ‘beard,’ a strip of bright-blue scales on their necks and along their sides.

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Male fence lizards prefer to dole out their attention to females without a throat dabbled in blue scales.

Langkilde lab/Penn State University

Ecologists at Penn State University reported this week that male fence lizards discriminate against female fence lizards sporting blue “beards” – dabbles of bright azure scales on their necks and along their sides –  preferring instead to lavish their attention on beardless females. That’s a find that scientists say may suggest that natural selection will in time trim out female lizards with too much of a beard.

“This was really striking since female ornamentation in this species is thought to serve no function and has been ignored by scientists,” says Tracy Langkilde, a biologist at Penn State University and the principal investigator on the paper, published in the journalBiology Letters, in an email interview. “It’s clear that it in fact plays a role in male mate choice, and has some potentially important consequences for reproductive success.”

Read more at: http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2013/1106/Female-lizards-with-beards-not-attractive-report-other-lizards?

 


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