Female competition and its evolutionary consequences in mammals

  title={Female competition and its evolutionary consequences in mammals},
  author={Paula Stockley and Jakob Bro-J{\o}rgensen},
  journal={Biological Reviews},
Following Darwin's original insights regarding sexual selection, studies of intrasexual competition have mainly focused on male competition for mates; by contrast, female reproductive competition has received less attention. [] Key Result Our review reveals female competition to be a potentially widespread and significant evolutionary selection pressure among mammals, particularly competition for resources among social species for which most evidence is currently available.

Intrasexual competition in females: evidence for sexual selection?

  • K. Rosvall
  • Biology, Psychology
    Behavioral ecology : official journal of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology
  • 2011
Understanding sex differences in sexual selection will require further exploration of the extent of mutual intrasexual competition and the incorporation of quality of mating success into the study of sexual selection in both sexes.

Reflections on the Evolution of Human Sex Differences: Social Selection and the Evolution of Competition Among Women

It is proposed that a combination arranged marriages, which will lessen direct competition for marriage partners, and polygyny created a unique social context within which female–female competition evolved, specifically competition among co-wives for access to resources controlled by their husband and competitive promotion of their children’s future reproductive prospects vis-a-vis the prospects of the children of co-wife.

Social competition and its consequences in female mammals

The current understanding of adaptive tactics used by competing females in social mammals is summarized, and the social mechanisms affecting competitive success and the evolutionary consequences of social competition between females are assessed.

Behavioral mechanisms of reproductive isolation in avian hybrid zones

Better understanding is gained of the processes by which male-male competition between species in secondary contact promotes reproductive isolation versus hybridization, and the role of female-female competition in hybridization is not well understood.

Sexual Selection and Female Competition

Sexual selection studies have traditionally focused on reproductive competition as a typical male characteristic, and regarded females as largely passive. However, empirical evidence now shows female

The evolution of female ornaments and weaponry: social selection, sexual selection and ecological competition

It is shown that selection often falls outside the limits of traditional sexual selection theory, particularly in females, and it is concluded that the evolution of these traits in both sexes is best understood within the unifying framework of social selection.

Sexual selection and its evolutionary consequences in female animals

  • R. M. HareL. Simmons
  • Biology, Psychology
    Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • 2019
stantial evidence exists of females bearing characters or exhibiting behaviours that result in differential reproductive success that are analogous to those attributed to sexual selection in males, and it is predicted that current and future research on female sexual selection will provide increasing support for the parsimony and utility of the existing definition of sexual selection.

Evidence for intrasexual selection in wild female baboons

Female competition and aggression: interdisciplinary perspectives

A synthesis of contributions to a Theme Issue combining interdisciplinary perspectives in the study of female competition and aggression on humans and other vertebrates is provided, and directions for future research are highlighted.



Bateman Revisited: The Reproductive Tactics of Female Primates1

  • C. Drea
  • Psychology
    Integrative and comparative biology
  • 2005
A comparative review of primate reproduction challenges expectations of male control and female compliance, calls for a comprehensive treatment of costs and benefits that extends beyond conventional mention of heavy female investment versus male negligence or absenteeism, and encourages continued mechanistic research focused on conception quality rather than quantity.

Competition between female relatives in a matrilocal mammal

It is shown that in a mammal living in matrilocal, non-territorial groups—the red deer (Cervus elaphus)—the presence of resident female relatives depresses the reproductive success of adult females, providing a possible explanation of the apparent bias in parental investment towards male offspring in this species.

Sexual selection in females

Female Reproductive Strategies and Competition in Apes: An Introduction

While a large number of researchers have addressed dominance and competitive relationships among male apes and the use of alternative mating tactics by males, there is a relative dearth of empirical

Sexual Selection, Social Competition, and Speciation

Patterns of variation in socially selected characters demonstrate the wisdom of Darwin's distinction between natural and sexual selection, and the applicability of sexual selection theory to social competition in general.

The evolution of female social relationships in nonhuman primates

Evidence in support of the ecological model is reviewed and the power of alternative models that invoke between-group competition, forced female philopatry, demographic female recruitment, male interventions into female aggression, and male harassment are tested.

Reproductive constraints on aggressive competition in female baboons

It is reported here that high-ranking female baboons at Gombe National Park, Tanzania, enjoy shorter interbirth intervals, improved infant survival, and accelerated maturation of their daughters, but these advantages are countered by a significantly higher probability of miscarriage, and a proportion of high- ranking females suffer from reduced fertility.

Function of weaponry in females: the use of horns in intrasexual competition for resources in female Soay sheep

It is demonstrated that a trait that confers benefits to males during intrasexual competition for mates may also be used by females in intraseSexual competition over resources: males use weaponry to gain mates, whereas females use weaponry in order to gain food.

Male mate choice influences female promiscuity in Soay sheep

It is shown that, consistent with predictions, competitive rams focus their mating activity and siring success towards heavier females with higher inclusive fitness, the first time that male mate choice has been identified and shown to lead to assortative patterns of parentage in a natural mammalian system.

Reproductive skew and selection on female ornamentation in social species

The socially diverse African starlings (Sturnidae) are used to demonstrate that the degree of sexual dimorphism in plumage and body size is reduced in cooperatively breeding species as a result of increased selection on females for traits that increase access to reproductive opportunities, other resources, or higher social status.