1932

Abstract

Males in many species invest substantially in structures that are used in combat with rivals over access to females. These weapons can attain extreme proportions and have diversified in form repeatedly. I review empirical literature on the function and evolution of sexually selected weapons to clarify important unanswered questions for future research. Despite their many shapes and sizes, and the multitude of habitats within which they function, animal weapons share many properties: They evolve when males are able to defend spatially restricted critical resources, they are typically the most variable morphological structures of these species, and this variation honestly reflects among-individual differences in body size or quality. What is not clear is how, or why, these weapons diverge in form. The potential for male competition to drive rapid divergence in weapon morphology remains one of the most exciting and understudied topics in sexual selection research today.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.39.110707.173502
2008-12-01
2024-04-22
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.39.110707.173502
Loading
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.39.110707.173502
Loading

Data & Media loading...

Supplemental Material

Supplementary Data

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error