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Carotenoid-based sexual traits are thought to be reliable indicators of male quality because they might be scarce and therefore might indicate the ability of males to gather high-quality food and because they are involved in important physiological functions (as immune enhancers and antioxidants). We performed an experiment where male and female zebra(More)
The evolution of parasite resistance has often been assumed to be governed by antagonistic selection pressures. Defense against pathogens, by mounting an immune response, confers evident benefits but may also incur costs, so that the optimal level of defense is expected to depend on the balance between benefits and costs. Although the benefits of immune(More)
Carlos Alonso-Alvarez*, Sophie Bertrand, Godefroy Devevey, Josiane Prost, Bruno Faivre and Gabriele Sorci Laboratoire de Parasitologie Evolutive, CNRS UMR 7103, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, xquai St. Bernard, 75252 Paris cedex 05, France UMR CNRS 5561 BioGéo Sciences, Equipe Ecologie Evolutive, Université de Bourgogne, 6 Blvd Gabriel, 21000 Dijon,(More)
Secondary sexual traits (SST) are usually thought to have evolved as honest signals of individual quality during mate choice. Honesty of SST is guaranteed by the cost of producing/maintaining them. In males, the expression of many SST is testosterone-dependent. The immunocompetence handicap hypothesis has been proposed as a possible mechanism ensuring(More)
Optimal investment into life-history traits depends on the environmental conditions that organisms are likely to experience during their life. Evolutionary theory tells us that optimal investment in reproduction versus maintenance is likely to shape the pattern of age-associated decline in performance, also known as aging. The currency that is traded(More)
Carotenoid-based signals are thought to be indicators of male quality because they must be obtained from the diet and might thus indicate the ability of individuals to gather high-quality food. However, carotenoids are also known to have important physiological functions as immunoenhancers and antioxidants, and, as such, carotenoid-based sexual traits have(More)
The allocation of resources to reproduction and survival is a central question of studies of life history evolution. Usually, increased allocation to current reproduction is paid in terms of reduced future reproduction and/or decreased survival. However, the proximal mechanisms underlying the cost of reproduction are poorly understood. Recently, it has been(More)
Innate, inflammation-based immunity is the first line of vertebrate defence against micro-organisms. Inflammation relies on a number of cellular and molecular effectors that can strike invading pathogens very shortly after the encounter between inflammatory cells and the intruder, but in a non-specific way. Owing to this non-specific response, inflammation(More)
The level of expression of secondary sexual characters has been suggested to signal male ability to resist parasitic infestations. To test this idea, several studies have examined the link between sexual signals and immunocompetence in birds. However, most of them have used only a single aspect of immune response to evaluate immunocompetence. We(More)