It can be surmised that at one point or another in one’s life copulation will be a part of a species life cycle. In order to fully understand the sexual phenomenon that embraces every living and multiplying species this research will study sexual behaviours exhibited by living beings and will focus mainly on the study of female mate choices and related occurences. It has been realized that active female mate sampling and mate choice is an actuality in many species and has been recognized as such.
It might also be derived that in some species choice comes from evaluation of gain through direct or indirect benefits including access to resource or safety and production of genetically outstanding offspring (Byers and Waits 2006, p. 16343). A good example will be that of the choice of mate by female pronghorns (Antilocapra americana) thru a vigorously costly mate sampling course have a strong outcome on offspring endurance as shown by Byers and Waits (2006, p. 16343-44). The Theory of Sexual Selection The theory of sexual selection can be realized as a controversial topic wherein many explanations and varying views can be surmised.
A major topic of concern is the mechanism of favour arising from various sex ornaments and signals (courtship) sexual selection happens secondary to differences in reproductive accomplishments brought about by male-male competition (Andersson 1994, p. 3). There is also the Darwinian tradition of sexual selection that states that sexual selection is a selection variant that arose from other components of fitness that enables a female to select a male as its mating partner (Arnold & Wade 1984, p.
720). Stages of Mating The mating behaviour in its entirety takes place on this solid substrate and can be divided into three main stages.
In a first stage, when two males meet, and especially in the presence of a female close by, they often stop moving and face each other for impressing; a male can assault the other by jumping, a very quick fight usually ends with one of them running away. In this way, the male can stay on a same place trying to beat off opponents until a female comes or acknowledge the male for mating. In a second stage, when the female permits the male to climb, oponents generally reappear quickly trying to evict and replace the mating male.
Consequently the competition between the males is ongoing while mating and the female is able to support several males, jumping from one flower to another to suck the nectar. This stage can last several tens of minutes. In a third stage, the mating female leaves the surface of the plant to arrive at a sheltered place such as a blade of grass. At this place the male is generally no longer confronted by competitors and at this stage the mating pair is rarely bothered by predators or other circumstances; the male grabs the thorax and abdomen of the female with its mid and hind legs respectively, whereas the forelegs are moved up and down.
Generally this stage lasts a long time (more than thirty minutes) with the mating always ending at unpredictable times (Daugeron & Grootaert 2005, p. 97) Phenotypic Mate Choices It is predicted that secondary to the sexual selection theory, females will typically chose their male mates in consideration of ‘good genes’, basing on the phenotypic traits exhibited by the males.
It is surmised that this is primarily done in order to benefit the offspring in terms of viability, endurance and quality. Therefore it can be said that female choice (of mating partner) is directly related to her offspring’s eventual fitness, although studies that present proof of offspring fitness have been frequent it can be derived that predictions regarding the outcome of have been estimates and the adaptive outcomes of mate choice is generally not feasible (Gowaty et al. 2003).
Differences among females in their choice of mate may manipulate evolution by sexual selection and these may procure consequences secondary to that it is not the male’s mean charisma to all females that earns him his eventual mating, but his charisma to individuals, on the other hand, there have been no precise investigations as to the degree by which such variation persuade imperative evolutionary factors such as the chance for and passion of sexual selection (Brook & Endler 2001, p.
1644). It is noted that the ‘good genes’ theory does not predict the female choice affectation of the female fruitfulness, it is still noted that when a female chooses a good mate their eventual offspring/s seems to improve their overall performance. It is also noted that females who are choosy are expected by their eventual partners to be more fruitful, sire more offspring than their counterparts.
Although studies show that the quantity of offspring produced, a constituent of breeder health, does not vary considerably among mating partners that favored each other versus mating pairs that do not favor each other (Gowaty et al. 2003). Again another point of difference is that consistent with the “good genes” premise, it can be realized a female who mated with a chosen male would produce considerably more offspring than a female who mated with a non preferred male (Nagtalon, Drickamer & Shuster, n. d. ).
It can be surmised that females of every species would have motherly natures to adhere to and that their choices in their mating partners would be directed towards to eventual offspring they will produce in the sense that females will chose males, one for their phenotypic characteristics that would seem like they have good genes that will make strong offsprings, while some other females (as with humans) will chose security, choosing males that can provide good resources and security for her and their offspring. Multiple Mating and Mating Partners
In most insects, males and females are polygamous by nature and will mate with several partners in their existence; some will even engage in repeated mating rituals with the same mate. Conditions that favour repeated mating within mating partners may include direct or indirect suitability benefits for either of the partner. And due to the fact that there is no paternal care or pair bond in most insects (Thornhill and Alcock, 1983), the fitness effects of repeated mating are likely to be different for each sex. Males may profit from recurring mating because it can increase paternity with a given polyandrous female.
Females may profit if they be given material payback from males during copulation or if they can bias the paternity of their offspring toward higher quality males through recurring mating. However, these benefits will be balanced against costs which may include increased risk of parasite conduction, and the loss of time and vigour that might have been owed to other activities. For example, because reproductive assets are finite, the time and energy costs of repeatedly copulating with a single mate may reduce the supply available for acquiring other mates—potentially a significant price for males.
Reallocation in the relative costs and benefits of repeated mating for either sex may lead to changes in the likelihood of repeated mating for any given pair (Andrade & Mason 2000, p. 484). Mate Sampling Tactics It can be realized that as different species roam so does their tactics in acquiring mates, it can be realized that in a competitive environment where a male needs to actively compete with another male for mating entree, the less aggressive male may adapt a different tactic in order to outwit the competition.
Alternative mating tactics are especially prevalent in the fishes, possibly due to their indefinite augmentation, which results in large dissimilarities in body size; the incidence of external fertilization in the water, which facilitate sperm competition; and the occurrence of paternal care, which append to the assistance of an alternative non-caring tactic. Two mating tactics are characteristically adopted by males: a bourgeois tactic used by males that guard and endeavour to dominate females, and a parasitic tactic used by males that endeavour to take advantage of bourgeois males.
Bourgeois and parasitic males often take on sperm competition whereby their sperm must compete to fertilize the same egg/s (Neff, Fu & Gross 2002, p. 634). Many species where in difficult male courtship demonstrates occur, one or more alternative mating tactics are used either by diverse kinds of individuals or in altered circumstances. Tactics may mean intricate behaviour progression. Often males endeavour to acquire mating without engaging in time-consuming (and often unsafe) courtship displays.
This may be done either by sneaking fertilizations or by mating with females while they are occupied in some other activity or are incapable of thwarting the male’s advances. Such tactics are often referred to as “opportunistic mating. ” Alternative mating behaviours were described in several species of solitary spiders but have not been observed previously in social species. (Lubin 1986, p. 239-240). Sperm Competition
A study proposed by Parker (1998) the sneak-guard model of sperm competition in which certain males, the guards, is matched permanently to the female, whereas other males, the sneaks, concentrate at stealing fertilizations. It was surmised that when males have exclusive access to eggs, sperm investment should rise linearly with the number of eggs or mating opportunities available to the male. However, when there is sperm competition, males invest significantly more in sperm than would be necessary to fertilize the eggs in the absence of competition.
As such, sneaks have to be dedicated sperm competitors because they characteristically experience much superior levels of sperm rivalry (Neff, Fu & Gross 2002, p. 634). Sperm Storage It was surmised that the seminal fluid of the male helps the sperm during mating acts in maximizing a male’s reproductive success. The accessory glands or Acps is essential in storing the sperm by females. It was noted that 10% of the normal quantity of the sperms are stored by females whose partner transfer little or no Acps along with sperm (Tram & Wolfner, 1999).
Female sperm storage is an essential part of the reproductive patterns of many species. In the female, sperm become impounded in specialize storage organs or reservoirs, where they may stay for several days, weeks, months, or years before being utilized to fertilize eggs. Several diverse but interconnected methods are used by nature to aim at the sperm to the portion of the female genitalia adapted for sperm storage it can be noted that both sexes influence this progression.
Themes among the mechanisms and molecules essential for sperm to become economically stored in females and the roles that the female storage reservoirs play in the sustenance, protection, and release of these stored sperm for their eventual use. Sperm transfer and storage in the Palinura and Anomura is differentiated from this major pleocyemate trend. The proposed phylogenetic trends in insemination processes are compared to various schemes of decapods development, best agreement is found in Burkenroad’s (1963) premise on decapods’ phylogeny.
Conclusion In this study the writer realized that mating in various species differ and are diverse in nature and cannot simply be explained by the usual birds and the bees’ explanations human parents usually give their children when it comes to sexual queries. Insect, animal and humans have different ways wherein they interact, socialize and in the copulate with each other in order to produce other beings of their likeness and essentially the cycle begin again.
Especially in insects and other creatures, it is even surprising for this author that they are able to store sperms for future use in their own specialized storage units inside their bodies. Although the mating rituals also do happen in the human capacity, it is more complex and a little less primitive, it could be said for humans. Courtship and female choice of a mating partner for the humans vary very little with the courtship and female choices of the more primitive species of the animal kingdom.
It is a surprise that even in the most primitive of species one can surmise that courtship still happens and the females still holds security, resources and phenotypic characteristics in order to produce better and viable offsprings are given emphasis even the most primitive of environments. The first thoughts to this study was realized as a sexual nature type of study, but it was later realized that a scientific approach to the study professed more results that opened the mind of this writer to the complexities of species evolvement.
It was realized that in the course of this study that species no matter how primitive they are perceived to be, rituals and even tactics are often exhibited and that in the influence of survival and the need for copulation in males, competition, not entirely unlike the competition found in human courtships happen even in the smallest strata of nature. It was also noted that the study is significant in many ways and not only for the eventual procreation of life but for its extinction as well.
This study proved to be useful for the writer in acknowledging the vastness and capabilities of even the smallest species and an appreciation of the value of mating and mating rituals that occurs in their strata as well as in the strata of the sentient human being. References Andersson, M. 1994. Sexual selection. New Jersey. Princeton University Press. Andrade, M. & Mason, A. 2000. Male Condition, Female Choice, and Extreme Variation in Repeated Mating in a Scaly Cricket, Ornebius aperta (Orthoptera: Gryllidae: Mogoplistinae). Journal of Insect Behavior 13( 4):483-497
Arnold, S. & Wade, M. 1984. On the measurement of natural and sexual selection. Evolution 38(4):720-24. Retrieved 16 March 2008 from http://links. jstor. org/sici? sici=0014-3820%28198407%2938%3A4%3C720%3AOTMONA%3E2. 0. CO%3B2-2 Brook, R. & Endler, J. 2001. Female guppies agree to differ: Phenotypic and genetic variation in mate-choice behaviour and the consequence for sexual selection. Evolution 58(8):1644-55. Byers, J. & Waits, L. 2006. Good genes sexual selection in nature. PNAS 103(44):16343-45. Daugeron, C & Grootaert V. 2005.
Atypical mating behaviour in the empidine dance fly Rhamphomyia (Lundstroemiella) magellensis (Diptera :Empididae : Empidinae). Belg. Journal of Zoology 135 (1):97-99. Gowaty, P. , Drickamer, L. & Schmid-Holmes, S. 2003. Male house mice produce fewer offspring with lower viability and poorer performance when mated with females they do not prefer. Animal Behaviour 65:95-103. Nagtalon, J. , Drickamer, L. & Shuster, S. n. d. Does free female mate choice affect female fecundity in the confused flour beetle. PPT presentation for the Research Experiences for the Undergraduate Program by the National Science Foundation.
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