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Although the function of ornamental traits in males has been the focus of intensive research for decades, expression of such traits in females has received much less study. Eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) display structurally based ultraviolet/blue and melanin-based chestnut plumage, and in males this plumage coloration is related to both reproductive(More)
Most studies of condition-dependent sexual ornaments have treated such ornaments as single traits. However, sexual ornaments are often composites of several components, each produced by partially independent developmental pathways. Depending on environmental and individual condition, components of these ornaments may reflect different behavioral or(More)
The striking diversity of sexual dimorphisms in nature begs the question: Why are there so many signal types? One possibility is that ornamental traits convey different sets of information about the quality of the sender to the receiver. The colourful, pigmented feathers of male birds seem to meet the predictions of this hypothesis. Evidence suggests that(More)
Female choice for male ornamental traits is widely accepted as a mechanism by which females maximize their reproductive success and/or offspring quality. However, there is an increasing empirical literature that shows a fitness benefit of genetic diversity and a tendency for females to use genetic dissimilarity as a criterion for mate choice. This genetic(More)
Sexual size dimorphism of adults proximately results from a combination of sexually dimorphic growth patterns and selection on growing individuals. Yet, most studies of the evolution of dimorphism have focused on correlates of only adult morphologies. Here we examined the ontogeny of sexual size dimorphism in an isolated population of the house finch(More)
Trade-offs in resource allocation have been widely stated as the means by which the honesty of ornamental traits is maintained, but an alternative to this resource trade-off hypothesis is that production of ornamentation is linked to the biochemical efficiency of vital cellular processes. Carotenoids are antioxidants, potentially tying carotenoid-based(More)
The extent and diversity of sexual dichromatism in birds is thought to be due to the intensity of current sexual selection on the plumage ornamentation of males and females. This view leads to an expectation of concordance between ecological conditions and sexual dichromatism. Yet, because expression of dichromatism is the result of not only current(More)
Differences among taxa in sexual size dimorphism of adults can be produced by changes in distinct developmental processes and thus may reflect different evolutionary histories. Here we examine whether divergence in sexual dimorphism of adults between recently established Montana and Alabama populations of the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) can be(More)
Most species of birds can lay only one egg per day until a clutch is complete, and the order in which eggs are laid often has strong and sex-specific effects on offspring growth and survival. In two recently established populations of the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) in Montana and Alabama, breeding females simultaneously adjusted the sex and growth(More)