Thursday, November 23, 2006

Hens with bigger hairdos get more sex

We've always known that male animals use their large/colourful ornaments to attract females. Now a study has found that hens are also using their "hairdos" to get more sex and more sperm from dominant roosters, proving that not only males use their large ornamental body parts to gain a sexual advantage. From New Scientist:
Charlie Cornwallis at the University of Oxford, UK, demonstrated that looks matter to male chickens by running a series of tests in which he presented each of them with pairs of hens.

In the first part of the experiment, he and his colleagues covered the eye-catching red crests, known as “combs”, on the females’ heads with small hoods. This made it impossible for the male birds to size up the hens’ combs. As a result, in this part of the study, the males apparently picked their mate at random.

Next, the researchers removed the hoods from the hens and repeated the tests. The team found that 80% of the time males went after the hen with a larger comb.

The hens also wore a harness that held a plastic sack in place to collect the sperm males favoured them with. An analysis of collected samples revealed that large-combed hens received 50% more sperm from dominant males than their counterparts with relatively small combs.
I wonder if this applies to the rest of the animal kingdom too or even humans. Girls with large hairdos... hmmm.... Nah, I'll pass.


Lord Kimbo said...

You won't pass if it's large boobies.


BenN said...

Bigger is always better.