Stories tagged mating

Apr
08
2009

Meet up or meat up?: A study of chimps in Africa has found that males who share meat they've hunted with females have twice as great a chance of breeding with that female.
Meet up or meat up?: A study of chimps in Africa has found that males who share meat they've hunted with females have twice as great a chance of breeding with that female.Courtesy LeaMaimone
Does this sound familiar?

Male chimps that are more generous to the females they’re attracted to have a better chance of, um, hooking up later on.

That is the finding in a study recently conducted in the West African nation of Côte d'Ivoire.

In the case of the chimps, it wasn’t the males’ bestowing of flowers, jewelry or gifts to females that won over their hearts. Rather, it was meat.

In short, the study found that male chimps who shared with females meat they had captured had twice as much chance of breeding with that female, than male chimps who didn’t share meat with females. (Quit your snickering all you Beavis and Butt-head fans.)

Among chimps, males are the sole hunters of other animals to gather meat. Females depend on their generosity to get protein in their diet. And they provide a signal to males as to when they’re especially ready to find some male companionship – pink swellings on their bottoms are a visual clue to the males that the females are ovulating and sexually available.

But upon further study, researchers also found that male chimps were also willing to share meat with females who weren’t in heat. The researchers surmise that the males might be doing that to build up good will among that female to improve mating chances down the road.

In a different twist on this, a separate study has found that female orangutans will steal food from males to watch their reaction and assess if the male is suitable to mate with. Overly aggressive reactions by males will actually make females less likely to want to mate with them.

Due to a lack of video stores in the study areas, no research was able to be done on the effects of watching a Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan romantic comedy had on ape mating behaviors.

Jul
23
2008

Up up down down left right left right B A start!: or was it IDDQD? Yes! Infinite lives and ammo.
Up up down down left right left right B A start!: or was it IDDQD? Yes! Infinite lives and ammo.Courtesy bramblejungle
A single gene has been isolated in male fruit flies that seems to somehow make them skilled at videogames, Dungeons and Dragons (all versions), and Star Trek trivia.

Scientists are not yet able to fully explain this phenomenon, but they believe that the gene may govern a pheromone receptor, and causes it to block or misinterpret chemical signals normal fruit flies receive as stimuli towards good hygiene, snappy dressing, and social interaction.

So skilled are these fruit flies at games and trivia, they are able to actually beat games that don’t exist, and answer questions about Next Generation episodes that never made it to filming. Likewise, these flies have often been observed “rolling” for everyday actions and commenting derisively on the stats of peers.

Read all about it here, friends.

Apr
04
2008

That's one horny dinosaur, alright: Teen-aged triceratopses may have jousted to impress the ladies.
That's one horny dinosaur, alright: Teen-aged triceratopses may have jousted to impress the ladies.Courtesy wallyg

Scientists digging in central Mexico have uncovered the bones of a previously unknown dinosaur. The species, not yet named, had three horns and a massive neck frill, similar to the familiar Triceratops. The scientists peculate that these dinosaurs used their neck frills for display, to attract mates. Adolescent males may have used their horns in head-butting contests, like some modern sheep do, to establish dominance.

Nov
26
2006

Looking for love: According to new research, male chimps prefer older females over young females when they're looking for a partner to mate with. That's actually not so surprising, as in many other mammal species females reach their peak in fertility at middle age.
Looking for love: According to new research, male chimps prefer older females over young females when they're looking for a partner to mate with. That's actually not so surprising, as in many other mammal species females reach their peak in fertility at middle age.

Remember that TV show from a few years ago - Are You Hot?

Well, in the world of chimpanzees, who's hot isn't the same as what most human males classify as hot.

The latest issue of Current Biology includes research findings that most male chimps find the older females of their species more attractive for mating than younger female chimps.

"Although it's easy to imagine that male chimps would like to mate with whatever female is available, it turns out they really have strong preferences" for the older females, says anthropologist Martin Muller of Boston University, the lead author of the study. "We've seen them just ignoring younger females who are all over them."

The findings are based on eight years of watching chimps in Uganda. Chimp males are not too subtle in their courting rituals, so researchers clearly knew what was going on when they were selecting their mates. In the majority of cases, they'd prefer an older female over a younger female if they had a choice among who to mate with.

Why to they have such different tastes than their male counterparts of the human species?

One big difference is that female chimps never go through menopause, which could lead male chimps to consider them to be more experienced mothers and better caregivers for their offspring. And among many mammal species, fertility rates tend to be higher among middle-aged females than younger females.