As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

How rockstars and peacocks attract the ladies

What is it that makes rockstars so attractive to the opposite sex? Turns out Charles Darwin had it pegged hundreds of years ago – and it has a lot to do with peacocks.

In The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871), Darwin suggested natural selection can occur by individuals out-producing others in a population, through enhanced ability to secure a mate.
Darwin used the ornate  plumage and bird songs to exemplify this concept.
Peacocks are best known for flaunting their brightly coloured and sizable tails. Yet the tail is cumbersome and expends energy.
In addition, its extravagance makes the peacock conspicuous to predators and less able to escape them, reducing its survival prospects. Why then has the tail not been bred out of existence?
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