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Cover

Sexual Selection: A Very Short Introduction

Marlene Zuk and Leigh W. Simmons

August 2018

ISBN: 9780198778752

160 pages
Paperback
174x111mm

In Stock

Very Short Introductions

Price: £7.99

Sexual selection, Darwin's other big idea, is the selection for particular traits and behaviours that results from (usually) female choice and male competition. It can produce flamboyant features, such as the peacock's tail, which would seem to be detrimental to survival. This book explores our understanding of how sexual selection works.

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Description

Sexual selection, Darwin's other big idea, is the selection for particular traits and behaviours that results from (usually) female choice and male competition. It can produce flamboyant features, such as the peacock's tail, which would seem to be detrimental to survival. This book explores our understanding of how sexual selection works.

  • Discusses our current understanding of a major and often puzzling aspect of evolutionary biology
  • Introduces the astounding array of behaviours and decorative traits in the animal world used for competing for mates, and considers the evolutionary logic that underpins them
  • Looks at the history of the concept of sexual selection, from Darwin's original insights to our present understanding
  • Considers the thorny question of how, and even whether, sexual selection might apply to human beings
  • Part of the Very Short Introductions series - over nine million copies sold worldwide

About the Author(s)

Marlene Zuk, Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and Leigh W. Simmons, Professor in the School of Animal Biology at the University of Western Australia, and Director of the UWA Centre for Evolutionary Biology

Marlene Zuk is a Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She has researched into sexual selection for 25 years and in addition to authoring many scholarly articles has written four books for general readers, including Sexual Selections: What We Can and Can't Learn About Sex from Animals (2002, University of California Press) and Sex on Six Legs: Lessons on Life, Love and Language from the Insect World (a New York Times <"Editor's Choice>"). Her work has appeared in a wide variety of science magazines as well as the Wall Street Journal and other general outlets.

Leigh W Simmons is professor in the School of Animal Biology at the University of Western Australia, and Director of the UWA Centre for Evolutionary Biology. He has worked for nearly 40 years on sexual selection, primarily in insects, but also in frogs and mammals, including humans. Leigh is the author of Sperm Competition (2001, Princeton University Press); and co-edited Ecology and Evolution of Dung Beetles (2011, Wiley-Blackwell), with T. James Ridsdill-Smith; and The Evolution of Insect Mating Systems (2014, Oxford University Press), with David M Shuker.

Table of Contents

    1: Darwin's Other Big Idea
    2: Choosing from the field of competitors
    3: Sex roles and stereotypes
    4: Sexual selection after mating
    5: Sexual conflict
    6: Mating systems, or who goes with whom, and for how long
    7: How Sex Makes Species Survive
    Further Reading
    Index

Reviews

"[A] delightful book ... informative and insightful ... Sexual Selection is thin and relatively cheap, but it's packed with more information than other books four times the size and price." - Mark Greener, Fortean Times

"An excellent, fascinating introduction to the recent discoveries that have revolutionized our understanding of competition over mates, mate choice and differences between the sexes. Darwin would have been both pleased and amazed." - Malte Andersson, Professor emeritus, Animal Ecology, University of Gothenburg