Reindeer antlers: visual indicators of individual quality?

@article{Markusson1997ReindeerAV,
  title={Reindeer antlers: visual indicators of individual quality?},
  author={Eystein Markusson and Ivar Folstad},
  journal={Oecologia},
  year={1997},
  volume={110},
  pages={501-507}
}
Abstract Fluctuating asymmetry (FA) in ornamental characters may reflect developmental stability in the translation from genotype to phenotype. Antlers of reindeer show FA, are visually conspicuous ornaments and are important in intraspecific assessment. We show that there is a negative relationship between size and asymmetry in visual antler characteristics (i.e., antler length and number of tines) among free-ranging male reindeer in rut. This indicates that individuals that develop large… 
Antler asymmetry and immunity in reindeer
TLDR
It is found that FA, but not size, of antlers grown during exposure to a multitude of environmental stressors may reveal information about individual immunity that can be important for host-parasite interactions, and may communicate an individual's quality during the rut in reindeer.
What, if anything, does visual asymmetry in fallow deer antlers reveal?
TLDR
Analysis of relationships between age, dominance and asymmetry in the number of antler points on mature fallow deer males during four rutting seasons in a single population failed to support the hypothesis that antler asymmetry visually reveals individual quality in fallow Deer.
FLUCTUATING ASYMMETRY IN ANTLERS OF ALASKAN MOOSE: SIZE MATTERS
TLDR
Characteristics of paired antlers from Alaskan moose are studied to hypothesize that this metric indicates quality of individual moose, and large-antlered males, which mate most often among moose and other polygynous cervids, expressed the least relative FA.
Asymmetry in antler size in roe deer (Capreolus capreolus ): an index of individual and population conditions
TLDR
The results suggest that antler development in roe deer represents a reliable signalling of individual quality, and asymmetry in antler size appears to be a valuable indicator of the current environmental conditions encountered by populations.
Repeatability of size and fluctuating asymmetry of antler characteristics in red deer (Cervus elaphus) during ontogeny
TLDR
There was a principal difference in the pattern between FA and antler size, with the latter being much more consistent than the former, which suggests that antlers size, not FA, may be a good predictor of the bearer's quality in mate selection.
Do Antlers Honestly Advertise the Phenotypic Quality of Fallow Buck (Dama dama) in a Lekking Population
TLDR
Antler size reflects social status and dominance in male fallow deer, and therefore represents an honest advertisement of phenotypic quality, and no direct link between antler symmetry and mating success was found, confirming the ambiguous role of antler asymmetry as an indicator of fitness.
Fluctuating Asymmetry in elk Cervus elaphus Antlers is Unrelated to Environmental Conditions in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
TLDR
North American elk do not appear to respond to environmental variation by varying allocation to antler growth, instead they show stronger age-related effects on FA, and there is little support for strong effects of climate or density on FA in length or the number of points.
Sexual dimorphism and intercorhort variation in reindeer calf antler length is associated with density and weather
TLDR
The results suggest that environmental variation may influence the extent of sexual dimorphism in antler length, as female calves more than males appear to prioritize their antler growth over body mass, especially when resources are limited.
Fluctuating asymmetry in antlers of fallow deer (Dama dama): the relative roles of environmental stress and sexual selection.
TLDR
The degree of asymmetry recorded in antler length showed a significant decline with animal age, with antlers of animals of 2 years or older showing significantly greater symmetry, consistent with a hypothesis that despite continued competition for resources, there is a changing balance of selection pressure as animals reach maturity.
Lateral plate asymmetry, diet and parasitism in threespine stickleback
TLDR
This study, which is one of the first long‐term field assessments of asymmetry and parasitism, yields results that are consistent with studies linking asymmetry to reduced fitness and indicate that lateral plate asymmetry can be an indicator of poor individual quality, despite its apparent directionality.
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