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Lek Displays

Submitted by drosen on Thu, 03/29/2018 - 09:22

Lek Displays:  While many courtship displays occur in pairs, the most extreme cases of sexual dimorphism occur when courtship displays are done in large groups with multiple members of the same species. These large masses of courting displays are known as Leks and due to the extreme competition among the males in these groups there is additional emphasis on dominance and attractive morphology. Typically, a small number of males are selected for and sire the vast majority of the upcoming generation. As previously noted, natural selection favors those with the highest reproductive success so one must question why a subordinate male would continue to reside in these Leks if unsuccessful.  Studies have shown that females typically favor larger groups of males and subordinate males do have a minor chance to reproduce simply by being in the presence of a dominant figure. Of note, leks are typically more closely related to each other than other individuals in other leks and theories proposed by Paris Hamilton suggest that a subordinate role is tolerated more easily if the dominant male has similar genetics as this qualifies as reproductive success in a sense.