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An Invasion Of Cheats: The Evolution Of Worthless Nuptial Gifts
ScienceDaily ^ | 1-20-05 | N/A

Posted on 01/23/2005 11:45:45 AM PST by beavus

So-called nuptial gifts – often consisting of food or tokens – are typically bestowed by males on females as part of courtship and copulation rituals in many species. By manipulating the nuptial gifts that female insects receive during copulation, researchers have now shown that female preferences can be exploited by males who are "cheating" on their reproductive investment by presenting easily obtainable token gifts.

Gift-giving during courtship and copulation occurs across the animal kingdom, including in humans. Nuptial gifts can range from valuable nutritious food items to inedible tokens such as leaves or silk balloons. Gift-giving is of clear benefit to females when gifts are nutritious and thus valuable, but why females of some species require an inedible and worthless gift remains unexplained. In experiments reported this week, researchers Natasha LeBas and Leon Hockham from the University of St. Andrews removed the valuable (i.e., edible) nuptial gift that male empidid dance flies normally provide their female partner and replaced the gift with either a large edible gift or an inedible cotton ball token that resembles tokens given by other empidid fly species. The researchers found that although pairs copulated longest after presentation of a large edible gift, the females receiving the worthless cotton ball token were sufficiently tricked to allow males to copulate for as long as when the males provided a small nutritious gift. Males who substitute highly visible, but easily obtainable and worthless gifts may thus be able to invade a population of genuine gift-giving males.

The research demonstrates that, at least in some cases, females are susceptible to the invasion of so-called male cheating behaviour, and it suggests that the evolution of worthless gift-giving may arise though males' sensory exploitation of female preferences for nutritious gifts.

Natasha R. LeBas and Leon R. Hockham: "An Invasion of Cheats: The Evolution of Worthless Nuptial Gifts"

###

N.R.L. was supported by a Natural Research Council fellowship.

Publishing in Current Biology, Volume 15, Number 1, January 11, 2005, pages 64-67. http://www.current-biology.com


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: biology; evolution; genderissues; insects; men

1 posted on 01/23/2005 11:45:46 AM PST by beavus
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To: beavus

Finally!, news we can use.


2 posted on 01/23/2005 11:52:21 AM PST by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I didn't see it in my rearview mirror.)
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To: beavus

The human solution to this quandry is to get the broad a small box of candy (edible gift) and a good vacuum cleaner (useful). You can probably then engage in the aforementioned "copulation" in a clean house.


3 posted on 01/23/2005 11:53:20 AM PST by Emmett McCarthy
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To: BipolarBob

I take all my dates to an all-you-can-eat buffet.


4 posted on 01/23/2005 11:53:36 AM PST by beavus
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To: beavus
Gift-giving during courtship and copulation occurs across the animal kingdom, including in humans

I have never actually performed gift-exchange (except in the symbolic sense) during actual copulation. What are the mechanics?

5 posted on 01/23/2005 11:54:23 AM PST by freedumb2003 (Don't bring a moped to a car fight)
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To: freedumb2003

Man, I just blew coffie out my nose. That was BAAAAAAD.


6 posted on 01/23/2005 11:59:26 AM PST by patton (Genesis 3:16)
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To: beavus

Good way to find out what you can expect if you happen to slip up and marry one of them, I guess.


7 posted on 01/23/2005 12:12:13 PM PST by Emmett McCarthy
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To: beavus

"Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker."


8 posted on 01/23/2005 12:13:47 PM PST by Tax-chick (Wielder of the Dread Words of Power, "Bless your heart, honey!")
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To: beavus; BartMan1; Nailbiter; Forecaster; stanley windrush
but why females of some species require an inedible and worthless gift remains unexplained.

The essence of the human male-female standoff, explained in full.

9 posted on 01/23/2005 12:21:18 PM PST by IncPen (Beware the fury of a patient man.)
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To: beavus
Males who substitute highly visible, but easily obtainable and worthless gifts may thus be able to invade a population of genuine gift-giving males.

So far, my gifts of manhole-covers hasn't worked.

10 posted on 01/23/2005 12:22:37 PM PST by Lazamataz (`)
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To: freedumb2003
I have never actually performed gift-exchange (except in the symbolic sense) during actual copulation. What are the mechanics?

Simple.

Put a bow on it.

11 posted on 01/23/2005 12:23:17 PM PST by Lazamataz (`)
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To: Lazamataz

What are the interest rates on "reproductive investments" these days?


12 posted on 01/23/2005 12:26:16 PM PST by snopercod ( We as the people no longer truly believe in liberty, not as Americans did -- Dayfdd ab Hugh)
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To: Lazamataz

LOL


13 posted on 01/23/2005 12:29:06 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Don't bring a moped to a car fight)
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To: Lazamataz

I have never actually performed gift-exchange (except in the symbolic sense) during actual copulation. What are the mechanics?
Simple.

Put a bow on it.
________________________________________

And don't forget the card.


14 posted on 01/23/2005 12:34:10 PM PST by Danette ("If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.")
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To: beavus

In Homo Sapiens, they are called "Cubic Zirconia".


15 posted on 01/23/2005 12:56:24 PM PST by Gorzaloon
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To: snopercod
What are the interest rates on "reproductive investments" these days?

I'm not sure, but there is a penalty for early withdrawl.

16 posted on 01/23/2005 1:34:24 PM PST by Lazamataz (`)
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To: Lazamataz
a penalty for early withdrawl.

Oh no, you di'ent! LOL!

17 posted on 01/23/2005 1:38:28 PM PST by January24th
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To: beavus; xsmommy; codyjacksmom

See, this is all wrong. The females tested had no knowledge of credit.

What if........
one of the male flies had to go inspect a freshly created cow pie, (as flys do) but at the moment, was carrying a fake cottonball to give to his wannabe mate.

So he drops off the cottonball at her house, goes plays in the cow pie, then, goes and retrieves another cottonball and brings it to the female.

Now does that mean they go dutch on breakfast the next morning or does he get to stay for dinner that night"" Do they order out for maybe some chinese cottonballs and a movie later and go for a triple ?? Or does he go to the bar for his next conquest or back to the cow pie??

Women are so difficult to understand sometimes...:-(


18 posted on 01/23/2005 1:57:04 PM PST by JoeSixPack1 (Joooo need people like me, so ju can point jur finga an say, dare goes da badguy)
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To: Lazamataz

10.0! You da' MAN!


19 posted on 01/23/2005 2:20:30 PM PST by snopercod ( We as the people no longer truly believe in liberty, not as Americans did -- Dayfdd ab Hugh)
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To: snopercod
10.0! You da' MAN!

The East German judge only gave me a 7.6.

Those East German judges suck.

20 posted on 01/23/2005 2:22:54 PM PST by Lazamataz
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To: snopercod

Most are declared to have matured in 18 years, but being a risk, no guarantee is made on the quality of return.


21 posted on 01/23/2005 2:27:26 PM PST by gradient_salient
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To: beavus

Nothing says love like Cubic Zirconia ;-)


22 posted on 01/23/2005 3:05:29 PM PST by glorgau
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To: JoeSixPack1
It depends...did he wash the cow pie juice off his little mitts before touching her?
23 posted on 01/23/2005 4:18:04 PM PST by codyjacksmom (Be nice! I'm blonde and will work for an explanation.)
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To: codyjacksmom

cow pie juice

EEWWWWWWWWWWWWW


24 posted on 01/23/2005 4:19:39 PM PST by JoeSixPack1 (Joooo need people like me, so ju can point jur finga an say, dare goes da badguy)
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To: beavus

Well, that explains why flowers work.


25 posted on 01/23/2005 4:22:10 PM PST by Junior (FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC)
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To: Lazamataz

Males who substitute highly visible, but easily obtainable and worthless gifts may thus be able to invade a population of genuine gift-giving males.

It's why cubic Zirconium was invented!


26 posted on 01/23/2005 4:24:24 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: freedumb2003

I was proposed to once...does that count as a gift?


27 posted on 01/23/2005 4:28:27 PM PST by stands2reason
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To: Lazamataz

Yeah, but it's not a real gift if you can take it back.

Few men have a detachable penis.


28 posted on 01/23/2005 4:30:46 PM PST by stands2reason
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To: JoeSixPack1
Yeah! Just imagine how the she fly feels if the he fly wiped the cow pie juice on her. ICKY!
29 posted on 01/23/2005 4:32:22 PM PST by codyjacksmom (Be nice! I'm blonde and will work for an explanation.)
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To: stands2reason

TMI!!

Lol!


30 posted on 01/23/2005 4:33:11 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Don't bring a moped to a car fight)
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To: stands2reason
Reminds me of my favorite song.
31 posted on 01/23/2005 5:48:23 PM PST by beavus
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