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Talk:Biological ornament

Good genes[edit]

The lede says

Ornaments are most often observed in males and picking an extravagantly ornamented male benefits females because those “good genes” will be passed on to her offspring, increasing their survival or reproductive fitness. These genes are considered “good” solely due to the fact that it will increase the likelihood that a female will be attracted to the male that carries them.

The last sentence, narrowly defining "good genes", seems to contradict the handicap principle and the bright male hypothesis, which are discussed in the section on sexual selection. If the male has good ornamentation, it might not be simply due to genes for good ornamentation -- instead it might be due to genes that favor general healthiness, which allows energy resources to be diverted to maintaining ornamentation. Should the quoted sentence be toned down to allow for this possibility? Duoduoduo (talk) 17:53, 29 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Warwick University Project[edit]

Me and SarahH04 are considering expanding the section on female sexual ornaments and adding in a section for male sexual ornaments for our university project. Shannonf94 (talk) 16:22, 29 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Merger Proposal[edit]

I propose that the article ornaments is merged with this article. (ornaments could link to ornament)
The first two sentences of ornaments are covered in this article's lead section. The third and fourth sentences of ornaments are mentioned in section Use in courtship displays. RosieKate13 (talk) 13:46, 31 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

User:RosieKate13 Yes good call. Let's do this, as nobody has objected and that other article is clearly about biological ornament, but much smaller and not as good. Want to start?SemanticMantis (talk) 18:26, 26 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Proposed added content[edit]

This is a great start to a really interesting topic. In order to add to this page, it might be useful to include information about how ornaments can act as honest signals of mate value. You mention that they indicate good genes, but some of the ornaments may be more "honest" than others so it would be interesting to compare traits that are honest and dishonest signals. For example, for the peacock's tail you have said that those with more eyelets on their tail have offspring that survive longer and weigh more, so this would be an example of an honest signal as offspring survival is correlated with the size of the tail.

Also, it might be interesting to add a section looking at ornamentation on species in which males show equivalent or more parental investment in their offspring as females. As males who invest more will use more of their resources in nurturing their offspring, they will have fewer to invest in developing elaborate ornaments to increase mating success. An example that could be used is the seahorse, where the male and female roles in parenting are reversed, possibly suggesting that females would show more ornamentation. SarahH04 (talk) 20:52, 31 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Proposed added content 2[edit]

You have mentioned sexual ornaments in peacocks. However, it could be useful to describe another sexual ornament in peacocks; tail length. That is, the longer the tail, the more attractive the peacock is to the peahens. You could also pick up on the fact that whilst sexual ornamentation such as a long tail attracts mates, it is important to have variability in the gene pool (in any species). The reason that peacocks with short tails, for instance, may also reproduce (but to a lesser extent as they aren't as 'fit') is to ensure variability in the gene pool. It could be that as species continue to evolve, a long tail may no longer be adaptive at some point in the future. For instance predators may evolve more precise and efficient hunting strategies that puts peacocks with long tails at such a high risk, that it is no longer optimal to have such a long tail. Thus, the preference could then turn towards males with a short tail, as they would then be more likely to survive, pass the short tail onto their offspring, who would, subsequently, be more likely to survive also. Shannonf94 (talk) 13:40, 1 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Some of these claims might be supported by reference to the literature, some of them are dubious. If you can find good refs for any of this, I'll be happy to help you add it in if you give me a ping. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:24, 26 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Confusing lede[edit]

The first sentence "A biological ornament is a characteristic of an animal that appears to serve a decorative function rather than a utilitarian function" is flat out wrong or, in the best case, misleading. The paragraph goes on to list several utilitarian functions. Can someone with some expertise please adjust? ~ Alcmaeonid (talk) 16:58, 15 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]

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Talk:Biological ornament
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