Why do females find ornaments attractive? The coercion-avoidance hypothesis

Abstract

Vertebrates show two major classes of sexually dimorphic traits: weaponry and ornaments. However, Darwin could not explain why their expression varies so much across lineages. We argue that coercion-avoidance can explain both the existence and taxonomic distribution of ornaments. Females maximize their fitness when they can freely choose their mates, but… (More)

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