By Ina Muri
Posting in Energy
A study suggest that picky females play a critical role in the survival and diversity of species.
Researchers suggest that picky females play a critical role in survival and diversity of species, the Science Daily reports.
To date, biodiversity theories have focused on the role of adaptions in the environment, where the species that are best equipped to cope with a habitat would survive and others would gradually go extinct.
But the new study presents the first theoretical model that demonstrates that selective mating alone can promote the long-term coexistence of species. An example is how frogs, crickets, grasshoppers and fish share the same ecological adaptions and often interbreed.
The study was conducted by scientists from the University of British Columbia and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria, and recently published in the the April 1, 2012, issue in the journal Nature. The new mechanism revealed in their research could explain how a fish such as cichlids, a fish found in Lake Victoria in Africa, can coexist in high diversity in the same habitat.
"The focus on ecological adaptation has failed to explain much of the biodiversity we see right before our eyes," Leithen M'Gonigle said, the lead author and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Californian at Berkley.
Their model suggests that species can coexist in the same habitat as long as two conditions are met. First, the distribution of resources they use must be inconsistent, so that groups of females with different mate preferences can occupy different resource hotspots. Second, females must pay a cost for being choosey, either through reduced survival or because of fecundity.
"Resource distribution are never uniform over space, even in seemingly homogeneous habitats like grassland and lakes," Ulf Dieckermann said, a co-author of the study and leader of the Evolution and Ecology Program at IIASA.
When females are picky, they almost always suffer a cost because they spend their energy either to find a preferred mate or to avoid an undesirable one, Sarah Otto said, a co-author and zoologist at UBC.
"These costs turn out to be crucial for reinforcing species' boundaries," Rupert Mazzucco said, an IIASA scholar and also a co-author of the study. "Because they prevent females with a particular preference from invading areas dominated by males they find unattractive."
The authors suggest that his study open up new understanding and importance of of biological diversity, by overcoming the long-held belief that species can co-exist only if they differ in their ecological adaptions.
[ Via Science Daily]
Image courtesy: Ole Seehausen, Fish Ecology and Evolution, Eawag, Switzerland
Apr 1, 2012
Further to my observations today, I wish to add another dimension to this discussion. Conventionally the World view has been that the Universe is created by a Father God, who also created a male persons as the first Homo Sapiens specimen and then created a female out of his body to facilitate continuation not the species.But if you closely look at the way species survive, the male is seen to be a disposable commodity,and in the absence of a male, the females can adapt and become males to carry on with the procreational duties.The Male body has no rudimentary female reproductive organ ,while the female has a Clitoris, which ,when need arises, can be adapted to form a functional penis.There are numerous instances of females later becoming males with surgical assistance. This indicates Nature's plan that the females shall determine the fate of the species.In Indian Mythology, the Mother Goddess is supposed to be the active Creator of the World, and Brahmam, the male Principle, is supposed to be incapable of making even a minor movement,without Her Consent! ( Please see the first stanza of Soundarya Lahari ). If we understand Neutron as the inactive Brahmam, Proton as the active Creator Devi and Electron as the elusive and mysterious Maya, that creates the illusion of the created World,the puzzle pieces begin to fall in place ! Are we heading for a re-writing of the Religious Texts on the basis of new learnings from Science?
We see this pattern in larger life forms.Among humans and domesticated animals whenever there is no interference in choice of mates, there is always a strong chance of the female deciding the choice of mating.Whether it is the humans' dating behavior or the animals' pre-mating play , it is evident that the female decides the ultimate outcome-whether the mating will take place or not.Whenever brute force plays a part in the decision, the offspring do not visibly inherit the characteristics of the male, in most cases expression or suppression of the Genes of the Male to immediate next generation seems to be result of the will of the female parent..The matter needs closer and repeated observation across a large number of species and also in controlled conditions.A good opportunity for verifying this hypothesis exists,through a study of the dominant characteristics of offspring of animals which mated in normal circumstances and where they were given no such choice. Among humans also, this study can be done by comparing the dominant characteristics of offspring of Unidentified Sperm Donors and of those where the sperm donors are known ,but are not the legal fathers. Also the children born in Rape cases would give a strong clue on the impact of the Mother's will power on the expressed genetic characteristics of the children. In such cases
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I think it's little coincidence that social order decayed at a higher rate once women became less discriminating. Our affluent society had much to do with that.