From the Darwinian perspective, peahens choose their mates based on symmetry of the tail and number of eye spots. However, this is not the full story. A paper published in 2015 by Dr. Singh suggested that there is limited female choice in sexual selection and factors such as male intimidation and male-male battle should be considered in the case of peacocks. This research carried out by Rama Singh from the Biology department focused on mating choice of females. Evidence showed that females show no preference in mate choosing after she has been sexually aroused. Therefore, females might be willing to mate with males that are considered to be unfit from a Darwinian perspective after being sexually aroused. This is very interesting as it contradicts Darwinian concept of natural selection, where females tend to be choosier because they invest more in the offspring. In this cartoon digital painting, I painted a peacock with two peahens being intimidated by him. This suggests that male intimidation can play a role in peacock courtship behaviour, where the biggest males can force females to mate with them.
18” x 12”
DEBBIE KAO, Artist
Health Science, Undergraduate
RAMA S. SINGH, Ph.D., Researcher
Department of Biology