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Mate-choice studies typically focus on male traits affecting female mating decisions, but few studies seek to identify the behavioral rules females use when searching for mates. Current models suggest that females may either directly compare a set of males ("pooled comparison") or compare each male to an internal standard ("sequential-search rule") when(More)
Females can maximize the benefits of mate choice by finding high-quality mates while using search tactics that limit the costs of searching for mates. Mate-searching models indicate that specific search tactics would best optimize this trade-off under different conditions. These models do not, however, consider that females may use information from previous(More)
Bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchidae) have among the most exaggerated sets of display traits known, including bowers, decorated display courts and bright plumage, that differ greatly in form and degree of elaboration among species. Mapping bower and plumage traits on an independently derived phylogeny constructed from mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences revealed(More)
Variation in visual spectral tuning has evolved in concert with signal colour in some taxa, but there is limited evidence of this pattern in birds. To further investigate this possibility, we compared spectral sensitivity among bowerbird species that occupy different visual habitats and are highly diverged in plumage and decoration colour displays, which(More)
Models of sexual selection generally assume that behavioural courtship displays reflect intrinsic male qualities such as condition, and that males display with maximum intensity to attract females to mate. Here we use robotic females in a field experiment to demonstrate that male satin bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) do not always display at maximum(More)
Complexity in male sexual displays is widely appreciated but diversity in female mate choice has received little attention. Males of many species have sexual displays composed of multiple display traits, and females are thought to use these different traits in mate choice. Models of multiple display trait evolution suggest that these traits provide females(More)
The pre-existing trait hypothesis suggests that females evolve a mating preference for an already existing male trait. This hypothesis poses a simple resolution to Darwin's long-standing question of how elaborate, male display traits evolve. The frequently observed convergence of aggressive and courtship displays across a wide array of species provides the(More)
Keywords: cognitive evolution cognitive performance female choice male reproductive success problem-solving ability Ptilonorhynchus violaceus satin bowerbird sexual selection Mate choice and mate attraction are important behaviours influencing the evolution of elaborate traits. It is possible that male general cognitive performance plays an important role(More)
Sexual selection driving display trait divergence has been suggested as a cause of rapid speciation, but there is limited supporting evidence for this from natural populations. Where speciation by sexual selection has occurred in newly diverged populations, we expect that there will be significant differences in female preferences and corresponding male(More)
Sexually selected male courtship displays often involve multiple behavioural and physical traits, but little is known about the function of different traits in mate choice. Here, we examine female courtship behaviours to learn how male traits interact to influence female mating decisions. In satin bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus), successful males(More)