Female mating strategies Flashcards Preview

Year 3: Primate Ecology and Behaviour > Female mating strategies > Flashcards

Flashcards in Female mating strategies Deck (21):

Mating with many males helps to ensure fertilisation. True or false?



In what cases can sperm become depleted? Give 2 examples

1. When females synchronise
2. When mating is seasonal


Why is sperm depleted?

By frequent/recent copulation


How does the polygyny threshold model demonstrate a female reproductive strategy?

Females would prefer to be the second mate to a male with a good territory than the only mate of a male in a poor territory. Sharing plentiful resources is better than controlling poor ones, and so she increases her own survival and repro rate.


The polygyny threshold model contradicts one of the main theories in primate socioecology. Which one and why?

Primate socioecology dictates that male distribution maps onto female distribution, as females are the males' limiting resource for reproduction.
Basically food availability = females = males

The polygyny threshold model contradicts this as it predicts that females map onto male distribution because the males possess abundant food.
Food = males = females


Multiple mating could be attributed to ally formation. Why?

Females may mate with multiple partners so they will all protect her from other males/females.


If a male believes an infant is his, is he likely to invest in it?

Yes, sometimes the male will carry the infant or babysit it whilst the mother is resting/feeding.


Confusing paternity through multiple mating gives 3 major benefits. What are they?

1. Lowers infanticide risk
2. Increases protection from potential fathers
3. Males may invest in the infant, freeing up time/energy for mother to increase her survival


Females will mate with the infanticidal male that killed their baby. Why? Give 2 reasons.

1. She wants to pass on her genes and to do so needs a new baby
2. Her offspring will inherit this male's genes and ensure they will be successful competitors, again increasing transmission of her own genes


You are more fertile in the months immediately after a miscarriage. True or false?



Females are often attracted to unrelated males. Why?

An evolutionary adaptation against inbreeding


Not all female primates show sexual swellings. How do they indicate ovulation instead?

Behavioural changes to receptivity (accepting sex) and proceptivity (soliciting sex)


What is mittleschmerz?

Ovulatory pain, i.e. the pain felt when an egg is released


What is spin?

Vaginal discharge around ovulation


Mittleschmerz and spin occur in humans, who do not display pronounced sexual swellings. It is possible that non-human primates without swellings may understand their own ovulation via similar mechanisms. True or false?



Sexual signals are graded. What does that mean?

They rely on the varying intensity of numerous, combined variables


In what kind of species is male protection particularly helpful?

Dimorphic, as females are easily distinguished and picked on


Why do sneaky matings occur more in sexually dimorphic species?

Males pose more of a physical threat and are more feared


Females cannot hide their sexual swellings. How then do they confuse paternity?

Olfactory cues and behaviour, such as mating with multiple males or mating throughout her cycle


Why do sexual swellings occur in polygynandrous systems?

Females have a large number of males to pick from and so incite competition to select the best mate


Females experience different types of intra-sexual competition at different parts of their cycle. What must they compete for during a) estrus, b) gestation and c) lactation?

a) males
b) food and resources
c) infant care