Published on October 17, 2007
The Biology of Love * *Please note. This discussion in no way attempts to discuss love in a religious context. Rather it is merely an entertaining way to learn about the sometimes comical world of biological reproduction.
If not for sex[ual reproduction], much of what is flamboyant and beautiful in nature would not exist. –Olivia Judson
Lucky in Love Sexual reproduction is like the best strategy for winning the lottery Increasing variety increases species chances for success
Red Queen Hypothesis Sexual reproduction can create variation from generation to generation evolved to allow species to develop adaptations to avoid their specific parasites. quot;It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.quot; Mutational Deterministic Hypothesis As generations pass, the mutations act upon one another in an exponentially harmful build- up that finally works to kill the organism, killing the mutations in the process.
So Many Choices When Choosing a Mate Monogamy vs. Polygamy Monogamy (my heart beats only for you!) Some advantages of monogamy… •geographic distribution of mates •incidence of parasites and sexually transmitted diseases •amount of parental care given to offspring •mate guarding behaviors •infanticide •length of breeding season •chemical mechanisms of bonding in the brain
Polygamy ….I love you and you and you and you and you Females are more selective, males less picky! Why? The duration of relationship depends on several factors: -do offspring need a lot of parental care? -does the male have a right to question paternity?
Who’s going to watch the kids? Parental care vs. No Parental Care Make the choice that, in your environment, will lead to the greatest number of successful offspring!
oney, how many kids should we have? 4 or 400 Big-bang Reproduction or Repeated Reproduction Again, the choice depends on the environment and the survival rate of the offspring.
en there’s not enough males around, never f et a sex change! And still produce offsprin To some species, a combination of genetic and environmental factors determine sex.
I’ve had enough of this! I’m going to do my own thing! Give up on sexual reproduction and become asexual!
Really Fun Methods of Reproduction in the Natural World It’s better to have loved and lost, then to have never loved at all! Sexual Suicide. Males that die during or soon after copulation, but their mate often dines on their lifeless body.
Male Gender Inequity and Exploitation. Males have greatly reduced body size and anatomy, and limited life experiences compared with the female--often dying within hours after copulation or persisting as a tiny blood-sucking parasite attached to the female's body.
Arguably the most exquisitely evolved mating behaviors belong to the Class Aves (birds)
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