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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)
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)
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)
Keywords: cognition cognitive evolution general cognitive ability mating success Ptilonorhynchus violaceus satin bowerbird sexual selection Many animal species have complex cognitive abilities previously assumed to be limited to humans. Explanations for how these abilities evolved have focused on ways in which cognitive performance may influence survival,(More)
Males in many bird species mimic the vocalizations of other species during sexual displays, but the evolutionary and functional significance of interspecific vocal mimicry is unclear. Here we use spectrographic cross-correlation to compare mimetic calls produced by male satin bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) in courtship with calls from several model(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)
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)
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)