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Oxford University Press, USA

Sexual Selection: A Very Short Introduction

Sexual Selection: A Very Short Introduction

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What is responsible for the differences between the sexes in so many animals, from the brilliant plumage of birds-of-paradise to the antlers on deer? Why are the traits that distinguish the sexes sometimes detrimental to survival? Ahy do males and females sometimes behave differently?

Questions like these have intrigued scientists and the public alike for many years. New discoveries are showing us both how wildly variable the natural world is, and how some basic principles can help explain much of that variation. Like natural selection, sexual selection is a process that results
from differential representation of genes in successive generations. Under sexual selection, however, the crucial characteristics that determine whether an individual reproduces depend on sexual competition rather than survival ability.

This Very Short Introduction uncovers the history of our understanding of sexual selection, from Darwin's key insights to the modern day. Considering the investment animals place on reproduction, variation in mating systems, sexual conflict, and the origin of sexual dimorphism, Marlene Zuk and Leigh
Simmons discuss questions such as whether females can really choose between males on aesthetic grounds, and how sexual conflict is resolved in different species.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and
enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Author: Marlene Zuk
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Published: 11/01/2018
Pages: 160
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.20lbs
Size: 6.80h x 4.60w x 0.30d
ISBN: 9780198778752

Review Citation(s):
Choice 04/01/2019

About the Author

Marlene Zuk is Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She has researched sexual selection for 25 years. In addition to authoring many scholarly articles, Zuk has written four books for general readers, including Sexual Selections: What We Can and Can't Learn About Sex from Animals (2002, University of California Press) and Sex on Six Legs: Lessons on Life, Love and Language from the Insect World (a New York Times Editor's Choice). Her work has appeared in a wide variety of science magazines as well as the Wall Street Journal, and other general outlets.

Leigh W Simmons is professor in the School of Animal Biology at the University of Western Australia, and Director of the UWA Centre for Evolutionary Biology. She has worked for nearly 40 years on sexual selection, primarily in insects, but also in frogs and mammals, including humans. Leigh is the author of Sperm Competition (2001, Princeton University Press), and co-wrote Ecology and Evolution of Dung Beetles (2011, Wiley-Blackwell) with T. James Ridsdill-Smith, and The Evolution of Insect Mating Systems (2014, Oxford University Press) with David M Shuker.
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