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Biologists Turn Back the Clock to Understand Evolution of Sex Differences

Published: May 3, 2012.
By McGill University
http://www.mcgill.ca

Sexual conflict – the battle between males and females over mating – is thought to be a particularly potent force in driving the evolution traits that differ in males and females. The antennae are used to grasp females during mating interactions, and the researchers were able to measure their increasing utility in this new function as they were increasingly elaborated.

Using high-speed video to observe mating, the researchers noted that each structure – hooks, enlarged segments and spikes – on the antennae appeared precisely designed to grasp females.

"In this way, we were able to create males with a range of antennae from a simple female-like antennae all the way to the highly elaborate antennae with hooks and other grasping mechanisms of the males we see today," says Abouheif.


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Keywords

Antennae, Mating, Traits, Males, Evolutionary, Elaborate, Rowe, Genetic, Females, Water, Utility, Toronto, Tend, Simple, Researchers, Mcgill, Increasing, Grasping, Found, Forces, Department, Biology, Abouheif, …

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