Welcome to the DragonflyIssuesInEvolution13 Wiki

Together all participants in Project Dragonfly Issues in Evolution Advanced Seminar in Fall 2013 will contribute words, definitions and explanations to a collaborative wiki. We will use this to advance our understanding of biological evolution and, if we are successful, yours.

Sexual Selection

A process in Natural Selection whereby individual organisms gain a genetic (breeding) advantage by attracting mates. This can occur when males of a species attract more females through successful display behavior (vocalization, demonstrations, or appearance) or through dominance of other males.


Sexual Selection & Evolution

YouTube segment of the video "Why Sex" from PBS's Nova Evolution series covering sexual selection and evolution



1 [lek] Show IPA noun, verb, lekked, lek·king. Animal Behavior . noun

1. A place where males of certain bird or mammal species assemble during breeding season to engage in competitive and territorial displays in order to attract females.

Wikipedia photo of male Great-tailed Grackles on a lek. Photograph by Michael J. Plagens, 2007.

"Lekking" is the gathering of males at a lek site. Behavior associated with lekking often consists of ritualized signals to other males in attempts to display dominance or to females to display fitness for breeding.


Black Grouse Lek

This YouTube video provides a glimpse into a springtime Black Grouse lek in Norway.

Sexual Ornamentation

Sexual ornamentation is a characteristic that attracts a mate or stimulates reproduction. This ornamentation is not limited to morphological features, such as wattles, antlers, color, etc. but may also include song and display, such as male grouses on lekking grounds (Badyaev, 2004) and bugling and urine odor among rutting elk or wapiti. Sexual ornamentation also applies to plants that attract pollinators through the development of flowers (Badyaev, 2004). 

Badyaev, A.V. (2004) Developmental perspective on the evolution of sexual ornaments. Evolutionary Ecology Research, 975-991.


Astounding Mating Dance Birds of Paradise -- High Quality

Bird of Paradise for BBC's DVD (posted by Alex Ivanov on Youtube)

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