Female fowl (Gallus gallus) do not prefer alarm-calling males

David R. Wilson, Christopher S. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Phenotypic traits associated with reproductive outcomes are often thought to be under sexual selection. In fowl, Gallus gallus, the rate at which males produce anti-predator alarm calls is an excellent correlate of their mating and reproductive success. However, two different models can explain this relationship. Calling, like many costly traits, may be attractive to females. Alternatively, males that have recently mated may invest in their mates by increasing alarm call production. Although previous work provides strong support for the male investment hypothesis, the two hypotheses are not mutually exclusive. In this study, we tested the mate attraction hypothesis by manipulating male alarm calling rates in three separate mate choice experiments. The first experiment was conducted in a highly controlled laboratory setting. There, we used video playback techniques to present females with simulated males that differed only in their alarm calling responses to simulated predators. In the second experiment, females were presented with two live males in a naturalistic outdoor setting. One male's vocal output was supplemented with his own pre-recorded alarm calls, and the other male's was not. In the third experiment, we combined the realistic spatial scale of an outdoor context with the stringent experimental control offered by video playback. The male stimuli used in this experiment differed in their propensity to produce four intercorrelated vocal signals that are each correlated with male mating and reproductive success. These included aerial alarm calls, ground alarm calls, food calls, and crows. Results from the three experiments consistently showed that females do not prefer alarm-calling males, suggesting that male alarm calling is not a sexually selected signal.

LanguageEnglish
Pages525-552
Number of pages28
JournalBehaviour
Volume147
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010

Fingerprint

Gallus gallus
Chickens
chickens
predators
Crows
crows
mating behavior
sexual selection

Keywords

  • Alarm signal
  • Mate choice
  • Mate investment
  • Sexual selection
  • Video playback

Cite this

Wilson, David R. ; Evans, Christopher S. / Female fowl (Gallus gallus) do not prefer alarm-calling males. In: Behaviour. 2010 ; Vol. 147, No. 4. pp. 525-552.
@article{a9157cebf0cc4a24ad7bfce2b4cba816,
title = "Female fowl (Gallus gallus) do not prefer alarm-calling males",
abstract = "Phenotypic traits associated with reproductive outcomes are often thought to be under sexual selection. In fowl, Gallus gallus, the rate at which males produce anti-predator alarm calls is an excellent correlate of their mating and reproductive success. However, two different models can explain this relationship. Calling, like many costly traits, may be attractive to females. Alternatively, males that have recently mated may invest in their mates by increasing alarm call production. Although previous work provides strong support for the male investment hypothesis, the two hypotheses are not mutually exclusive. In this study, we tested the mate attraction hypothesis by manipulating male alarm calling rates in three separate mate choice experiments. The first experiment was conducted in a highly controlled laboratory setting. There, we used video playback techniques to present females with simulated males that differed only in their alarm calling responses to simulated predators. In the second experiment, females were presented with two live males in a naturalistic outdoor setting. One male's vocal output was supplemented with his own pre-recorded alarm calls, and the other male's was not. In the third experiment, we combined the realistic spatial scale of an outdoor context with the stringent experimental control offered by video playback. The male stimuli used in this experiment differed in their propensity to produce four intercorrelated vocal signals that are each correlated with male mating and reproductive success. These included aerial alarm calls, ground alarm calls, food calls, and crows. Results from the three experiments consistently showed that females do not prefer alarm-calling males, suggesting that male alarm calling is not a sexually selected signal.",
keywords = "Alarm signal, Mate choice, Mate investment, Sexual selection, Video playback",
author = "Wilson, {David R.} and Evans, {Christopher S.}",
year = "2010",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1163/000579509X12603426568859",
language = "English",
volume = "147",
pages = "525--552",
journal = "Behaviour",
issn = "0005-7959",
publisher = "Brill",
number = "4",

}

Female fowl (Gallus gallus) do not prefer alarm-calling males. / Wilson, David R.; Evans, Christopher S.

In: Behaviour, Vol. 147, No. 4, 01.04.2010, p. 525-552.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Female fowl (Gallus gallus) do not prefer alarm-calling males

AU - Wilson, David R.

AU - Evans, Christopher S.

PY - 2010/4/1

Y1 - 2010/4/1

N2 - Phenotypic traits associated with reproductive outcomes are often thought to be under sexual selection. In fowl, Gallus gallus, the rate at which males produce anti-predator alarm calls is an excellent correlate of their mating and reproductive success. However, two different models can explain this relationship. Calling, like many costly traits, may be attractive to females. Alternatively, males that have recently mated may invest in their mates by increasing alarm call production. Although previous work provides strong support for the male investment hypothesis, the two hypotheses are not mutually exclusive. In this study, we tested the mate attraction hypothesis by manipulating male alarm calling rates in three separate mate choice experiments. The first experiment was conducted in a highly controlled laboratory setting. There, we used video playback techniques to present females with simulated males that differed only in their alarm calling responses to simulated predators. In the second experiment, females were presented with two live males in a naturalistic outdoor setting. One male's vocal output was supplemented with his own pre-recorded alarm calls, and the other male's was not. In the third experiment, we combined the realistic spatial scale of an outdoor context with the stringent experimental control offered by video playback. The male stimuli used in this experiment differed in their propensity to produce four intercorrelated vocal signals that are each correlated with male mating and reproductive success. These included aerial alarm calls, ground alarm calls, food calls, and crows. Results from the three experiments consistently showed that females do not prefer alarm-calling males, suggesting that male alarm calling is not a sexually selected signal.

AB - Phenotypic traits associated with reproductive outcomes are often thought to be under sexual selection. In fowl, Gallus gallus, the rate at which males produce anti-predator alarm calls is an excellent correlate of their mating and reproductive success. However, two different models can explain this relationship. Calling, like many costly traits, may be attractive to females. Alternatively, males that have recently mated may invest in their mates by increasing alarm call production. Although previous work provides strong support for the male investment hypothesis, the two hypotheses are not mutually exclusive. In this study, we tested the mate attraction hypothesis by manipulating male alarm calling rates in three separate mate choice experiments. The first experiment was conducted in a highly controlled laboratory setting. There, we used video playback techniques to present females with simulated males that differed only in their alarm calling responses to simulated predators. In the second experiment, females were presented with two live males in a naturalistic outdoor setting. One male's vocal output was supplemented with his own pre-recorded alarm calls, and the other male's was not. In the third experiment, we combined the realistic spatial scale of an outdoor context with the stringent experimental control offered by video playback. The male stimuli used in this experiment differed in their propensity to produce four intercorrelated vocal signals that are each correlated with male mating and reproductive success. These included aerial alarm calls, ground alarm calls, food calls, and crows. Results from the three experiments consistently showed that females do not prefer alarm-calling males, suggesting that male alarm calling is not a sexually selected signal.

KW - Alarm signal

KW - Mate choice

KW - Mate investment

KW - Sexual selection

KW - Video playback

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77949564222&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1163/000579509X12603426568859

DO - 10.1163/000579509X12603426568859

M3 - Article

VL - 147

SP - 525

EP - 552

JO - Behaviour

T2 - Behaviour

JF - Behaviour

SN - 0005-7959

IS - 4

ER -