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Sexual selection: Networking for mates

Cited research Am. Nat. doi:10.1086/655216 (2010)

Male birds trying to woo females may improve their chances by socializing more, effectively boosting their relative attractiveness.

Kevin Oh, currently at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and Alexander Badyaev at the University of Arizona in Tucson studied house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) in Arizona, where males' breast feathers range from pale yellow to deep red (pictured, with a female).

The duo analysed the birds' social networks and found that during the non-breeding season, less elaborate males shifted more often between social groups than ornate ones did. Highly social birds were more successful at finding a mate than were comparably adorned males that did not change groups as much.

Credit: A. BADYAEV

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Sexual selection: Networking for mates. Nature 466, 416 (2010).

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