The colour differences seen in the plumage of male and female songbirds is mostly from to the effects of sexual selection upon the female, not the male, according to a new analysis. This challenges the long-held view that males developed more colourful plumage because of sexual selection.
Researchers quantified the colouration of nearly 6,000 species of songbirds. They found that while the colouration of males remained stable, females became more drab when these was less competition for mates, and only increased in colour when there was a high level of competition between females for mates.
Original research paper published in Nature on November 2, 2015.
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