Big, heavy male mountain goats sire small, less fit daughters

November 18th, 2009 - 3:05 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Nov 18 (ANI): While female mountain goats prefer to pick up larger and stronger mates in order to have healthier offspring, they are likely to sire daughters who are small and less fit, reveals a new study.

Big, heavy males mountain goats shove lightweight Romeos aside taking the eligible females for themselves.

Although the larger males pass their physical attributes and mating success to their male heirs, the new study led by University of Alberta researcher David Coltman showed that their daughters are routinely smaller and less fit than females produced by physically more modest fathers

Coltman’s research shows that this anomaly could have implications for female mate choice, since a female that mates with a large, dominant male can expect to have larger sons, but smaller and less fit daughters.

The research also poses the question of why female offspring sired by the dominant male would be compromised. Another question the study raises is; what if any consideration does the size of their daughters have for would-be mothers? Could this be a factor weighed by a sexually mature female when courted by males that come in a variety of sizes?

The study is published in Proceedings from the Royal Society. (ANI)

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Health Science |