The Evolution of Primary Sexual Characters in Animals
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The Evolution of Primary Sexual Characters in Animals

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Primary sexual traits, those structures and processes directly involved in reproduction, are some of the most diverse, specialized, and bizarre in the animal kingdom. Moreover, reproductive traits are often species-specific, suggesting that they evolved very rapidly. This diversity, long the province of taxonomists, has recently attracted broader interest from evolutionary biologists, especially those interested in sexual selection and the evolution of reproductive strategies. Primary sexual characters were long assumed to be the product of natural selection, exclusively. A recent alternative suggests that sexual selection explains much of the diversity of "primarysexual characters. A third approach to the evolution of reproductive interactions after copulation or insemination has been to consider the process one of sexual conflict. That is, the reproductive processes of a species may reflect, as does the mating system, evolution acting on males and on females, but in different directions. In this volume, authors explore a wide variety of primary sexual characters and selective pressures that have shaped them, from natural selection for offspring survival to species-isolating mechanisms, sperm competition, cryptic female choice and sexual arms races. Exploring diverse reproductive adaptations from a theoretical and practical perspective, The Evolution of Primary Sexual Characters will provide an unparalleled overview of sexual diversity in many taxa and an introduction to the issues in sexual selection that are changing our view of sexual processes.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 552 pages
  • 177.8 x 254 x 30.48mm | 1,111.3g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195325559
  • 9780195325553
  • 1,988,032

Review quote

"A broad and thorough compendium that covers cutting-edge theoretical issues and includes taxonomic overviews by leading experts. For serious students of sexual selection, reproductive behavior, and sexual diversity, this book will uncover a plethora of fascinating facts and make them feel like the proverbial kid in the candy store!" -Zuleyma Tang-Martinez, Professor of Biology, University of Missouri-St. Louis"Most biologists, myself included, probably feel they have a good understanding of primary and secondary sexual characters and how they relate to natural and sexual selection. But this volume of well-chosen chapters offers a whole new perspective. A broad spectrum of outstanding authors covers diverse taxa and reproductive modes. Not only does this comprehensive treatment inform Graham Bell's 'queen of problems in evolutionary biology, ' it helps extend this fascinating topic to a broader audience. Well written and edited, richly illustrated, and full of details, the volume is a must for the broadly trained biologist and naturalist." -John Pearse, Professor Emeritus, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz"Traits such as gonads, gametes and genitalia are generally thought to be the product of natural selection to improve fertilization efficiency. This fascinating book draws together a growing literature that challenges this view. By considering an unusual diversity of species, and with elegant descriptions of both structure and function, the studies described here demonstrate an important role for sexual selection in the evolution of primary sexual characters. Perfect for a seminar course in behavioral ecology or invertebrate biology." -H. Jane Brockmann, Professor of Biology, University of Floridashow more

About Janet Leonard

Janet L. Leonard is a research associate at the Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California - Santa Cruz. Throughout her career her research has focused on animal behavior, particularly in invertebrates, working on topics from neuroethology to evolutionary biology. At present she divides her time between theoretical and practical work, the latter focusing on the reproduction and evolution of banana slugs. Alex Cordoba-Aguilar is a researcher at the Instituto de Ecologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. He studies the evolutionary forces that operate on the form and function of genitalic structures in invertebrates, mainly insects, and is the editor of Dragonflies and Damselflies: Model Organisms for Ecological and Evolutionary Research (OUP, 2008).show more

Table of contents

JANET L. LEONARD; PART I: GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS; MICHAEL T. GHISELIN; JANET L. LEONARD; WILLIAM G. EBERHARD; PATRICIA ADAIR GOWATY AND STEPHEN P. HUBBELL; PART II: PRIMARY SEXUAL CHARACTERS IN SELECTED TAXA; KATIE E. LOTTERHOS AND DON R. LEVITAN; ALAN N. HODGSON; ANGEL VALDES, TERRENCE M. GOSLINER, AND MICHAEL T. GHISELIN; PHILIPPE JARNE, PATRICE DAVID, JEAN-PIERRE POINTIER, AND JORIS M. KOENE; BRUNO BAUR; ALFREDO V. PERETTI; WILLIAM G. EBERHARD AND BERNHARD A. HUBER; ROGELIO MACIAS-ORDONEZ, GLAUCO MACHADO, ABEL PEREZ-GONZALEZ, AND JEFFREY W. SHULTZ; NINA WEDELL AND DAVID J. HOSKEN; ADOLFO CORDERO RIVERA AND ALEX CORDOBA-AGUILAR; PAUL EADY; MICHAEL TABORSKY AND FRANCIS C. NEAT; LYNNE D. HOUCK AND PAUL A. VERRELL; TOBIAS ULLER, DEVI STUART-FOX, AND MATS OLSSON; ROBERT MONTGOMERIE; EDWARD H. MILLER; ALEX CORDOBA-AGUILAR; INDEXshow more

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