Höner et al. reply


Replying to: R. C. Van Horn, H. E. Watts & K. E. Holekamp Nature 454, 10.1038/nature07122 (2008)

We demonstrated that female mate-choice, rather than male inbreeding avoidance, resources or male–male competition, drives male-biased dispersal in spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta)1. We further showed that females use two simple rules based on male tenure to choose their sires, and that males gain substantial fitness benefits by responding to these preferences1. Van Horn et al.2 accept our principal conclusions but claim that females base mate-choice on dispersal status rather than tenure. Their argument overlooks the fact that at least one of the two female mate-choice rules cannot be explained by dispersal status, and it is based on statistical analyses and a selection of males that we consider inappropriate for tests of female mate preference.

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Höner, O., Wachter, B., East, M. et al. Höner et al. reply. Nature 454, E2 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature07123

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