Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Why [Recreational] Sex?
Sex is a very costly process for females. On page 157, Jerry Coyne explains that while the male investment in sex is cheap, "for females it costs much more: the production of large, nutrient rich eggs and often a huge expenditure of energy and time". Thus, females are often very picky about choosing a mate. However, in some organisms, this is not the case. Among bonobos and dolphins for example, sex is a very common occurrence, engaging in 'intimate relations' very frequently. Dolphins become sexually active even before they become sexually mature, and bonobo sexual behavior has no regard for gender or age. How could this sort of behavior have evolved among these organisms? How can females afford to take the risk of investing in so many potential offspring?