Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Different Mating Strategies Among The Two Sexes
From pages 155-159, Coyne explains how males and females have developed different mating strategies. "A male can produce large quantities of sperm, and so can potentially father a huge number of offspring, limited only by the number of females he can attract and the competitive ability of his sperm." On the other hand, females have the bigger investment (pregnancy) of child development and therefore are unlike males in the sense that if they mate many times, it still would not increase their number of offspring. Coyne then goes into details from the Guinness Book of World Records and describes although the record number of children one mother gave birth to was 69, Mulai Ismail, a male- emperor of Morocco, was to have fathered "at least 342 daughters and 525 sons...".
What has natural selection favored in the male populations and female populations (think investment)? Also, how does this scenario affect whether an organism evolves to be monogamous (2 percent) or polygamous? Can these strategies provide answers to questions related to the phylogeny of organisms? Use information from the text and outside resources to explain.