Must reliable signals always be costly?

  title={Must reliable signals always be costly?},
  author={J. Maynard Smith},
  journal={Animal Behaviour},
  • J. M. Smith
  • Published 1 May 1994
  • Economics
  • Animal Behaviour
Abstract Abstract. It has previously been shown that, in some circumstances, animal signals can be a reliable guide to the state of the signaller only if the signal is more costly than is needed to convey the information unambiguously. However, an analysis of a simple model, the Philip Sidney game, showed that there are also circumstances in which cost-free signals can be both reliable and evolutionarily stable. The essential requirement for a cost-free signal to be stable is that the two… 

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