Sexual selection for white tail spots in the barn swallow in relation to habitat choice by feather lice

@article{Kose1999SexualSF,
  title={Sexual selection for white tail spots in the barn swallow in relation to habitat choice by feather lice},
  author={Mati Kose and Raivo M{\"a}nd and Anders Pape M{\o}ller},
  journal={Animal Behaviour},
  year={1999},
  volume={58},
  pages={1201-1205}
}
Many bird species have white spots in their tails or wing feathers, and such characters have been hypothesized to be either reliable signals (handicaps) or amplifiers that facilitate the message of a signal. In barn swallows, Hirundo rustica, the size of the white spots in the tail feathers is sexually dimorphic and positively correlated with feather length. We tested whether such spots act as handicaps or amplifiers. These white spots affect sexual selection in barn swallows, as shown by an… 
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TLDR
The cost of increased risk of feather breakage at white tail spots and the non-random distribution of feather lice among individuals will render tail spots a reliable signal of phenotypic quality.
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TLDR
The results suggest that tail length imposes an immunocompetence cost on males, and that males with naturally long tails are differentially better able to cope with this cost.
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TLDR
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TLDR
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TLDR
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TLDR
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TLDR
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TLDR
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TLDR
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