sexual selection

(redirected from Sexual ornament)
Also found in: Dictionary, Encyclopedia.

sex·u·al se·lec·tion

a form of natural selection in which, according to darwinian theory, the male or female is attracted by certain characteristics, form, color, behavior, etc., in the opposite sex; thus modifications of a special nature are brought about in the species.

sexual selection

n. Biology
The process in nature by which individuals with certain traits, especially secondary sex characteristics such as colorful plumage and large antlers, are chosen more often for mating and thus pass those traits on to their offspring.

sexual selection

the selection of mates on the basis of the attraction of or preference for certain traits, such as coloration or behavior patterns, so that eventually only those particular traits appear in succeeding generations. It explains the wide variety of sexual characteristics among the various species.

sex·u·al se·lec·tion

(sek'shū-ăl sĕ-lek'shŭn)
A form of natural selection in which, according to Darwin's theory, the male or female is attracted by certain characteristics, forms, colors, behaviors, and phenomena, in the opposite sex; thus, modifications of a special nature are brought about in the species.

sexual selection

the selection of a mate by female animals where, for example, the most brightly coloured is favoured, so maintaining brightly coloured males in a population. Some authorities consider that sexual selection explains the existence of SECONDARY SEXUAL CHARACTERS.
References in periodicals archive ?
Parasites, sexual ornaments, and mate choice in the barn swallow.
If this proves to be a general feature of allometric relationships - that allometry shape is largely invariant - then this may afford fresh insight into questions concerning how and when costly secondary sexual ornaments evolve.
Because sigmoidal allometries produce almost no intermediate morphologies, the cost of expressing secondary sexual ornaments may be dramatically reduced.
Specifically, lineages capable of generating sigmoidal growth patterns may be more likely to evolve costly male secondary sexual ornaments than similar lineages lacking this developmental potential.
Female preference for apparently symmetrical male sexual ornaments in the barn swallow Hirundo rustica.
It claims that male sexual ornaments have evolved to indicate heritable male quality (Zahavi 1975).
In this and the accompanying paper (Pomiankowski and Iwasa 1993), we have defined the conditions for the evolution of preferences for multiple sexual ornaments.
1991) and game-theory models (Grafen 1990) have established that the handicap process works and can lead to the evolution of mate preferences for sexual ornaments that indicate male quality.