Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Size matters for 'sex cheat' frogs


Smaller treefrogs are more likely to "cheat" their way to a mate, French scientists have found.
The team studied the response of differently sized European treefrogs to a chorus of mating calls.
They found that smaller males lurked near the sound of an attractive call, rather than calling more frequently than their larger rivals.
Research suggests that "cheat" tactics are mainly caused by the intrinsic disadvantage of being small.
The study, which is published in the journal Animal Behaviour, was carried out by a team from the University of Lyon, France.
The scientists wanted to learn more about what causes animals to use "parasitic tactics" rather than "bourgeois tactics" during the mating season.
"Bourgeois" or "classic" tactics involve a high-energy investment and competition for reproduction, whereas "parasitic" or "sneaking" tactics involve exploiting the energy invested by another male.

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