Differences between the sexes in direction and duration of response to seeing a potential sex partner mate with another
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We have shown previously that: (1) female Japanese quail, Coturnix japonica, increase and male Japanese quail decrease their tendencies to affiliate with potential sex partners after seeing them mate, and (2) in both sexes of quail, affiliative preferences and choice of a sex partner are highly correlated. Here we predict that because effects of a prior male's sperm on a second male's probability of fertilizing a female are relatively brief, a male's avoidance of whichever member of a pair of females he has seen mating should be transitory. Conversely, because female quail seek high-quality males as mates and quality is a relatively permanent characteristic, females' preferences between males should remain constant over time. We found, as predicted, that the durations of effects on affiliation of seeing a potential sex partner mate differed in male and female quail. Forty-eight hours after male quail saw a female mate, they no longer avoided her, whereas 48 h after female quail saw a male mate, his attractiveness remained enhanced. We conclude by suggesting that both the direction and the duration of responses of male and female Japanese quail to seeing a member of the other sex mating enhance the fitness of members of each sex. Copyright 2000 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.
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