16” x 20”



Life Sciences, Undergraduate

RAMA S. SINGH, Ph.D.Researcher

Department of Biology

This piece illustrates the findings of recent research of Dr. Rama Singh from McMaster University stating that the popular idea of sexual selection may not entirely be correct. Although, it is true that females do play a part in choosing their mate, it may not necessarily be as a result of wanting their offspring to have better genes. With all the emphasis placed on females to choose their mates, the male’s input into the mating process is often forgotten. The common idea is that female peacocks choose to mate with males with longer tails. However, this may not completely be the result of her choice. The mating of female peacocks with larger male peacocks could actually just be a result of the male peacock with the bigger tail warding off the competition of other males with smaller tails. Through research, it is also hypothesized that males could also use this same aggression towards females, to pressure them into mating. The illustration of the peacocks; a famous example of sexual selection, shows the female in a separate frame - uninterested - looking away from the lavish display feather display of the male peacock. This represents that the beauty and size of the tail is not what contributes to mating in terms of female choice. It is more a matter of competition between males, and the aggressive courtship of the male which is what results into the mating between the two peacocks.