Geoffrey R Hill

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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)
Condition is a nearly ubiquitous term in the behavioural, physiological and evolutionary ecology literature; however, existing definitions are incomplete or ambiguous. This poor conceptualization has led to confusion regarding what is being signalled by condition-dependent traits and how to interpret links between ornamentation and individual(More)
—Carotenoid pigments produce the ornamental red, orange, and yellow integumentary coloration of many species of animals. Among individuals of a population, the hue and saturation of carotenoid-based ornaments can be extremely variable, and studies of fish and birds have shown that females generally prefer males that display the most saturated and reddest(More)
Female birds allocate androgens differentially within and among clutches, and it has been suggested that this is a strategy to maximize reproductive success. Only a few studies, however, have examined the effects of yolk testosterone (T) on the growth and development of nestlings, and none have reported on the immunological effects of yolk T nor have they(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)
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)
Carotenoid pigments are a widespread source of ornamental coloration in vertebrates and expression of carotenoid-based colour displays has been shown to serve as an important criterion in female mate choice in birds and fishes. Unlike other integumentary pigments, carotenoids cannot be synthesized; they must be ingested. Carotenoid-based coloration is(More)
Birds display a tremendous variety of carotenoid-based colors in their plumage, but the mechanisms underlying interspecific variability in carotenoid pigmentation remain poorly understood. Because vertebrates cannot synthesize carotenoids de novo, access to pigments in the diet is one proximate factor that may shape species differences in carotenoid-based(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)
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)