February 18th, 2003 - Open Knowledge
Feb. 18th, 2003
Most interesting quote:
"....Among green-veined white butterflies, for example, a virgin male ejaculates a sperm packet roughly 15 percent of his weight that also contains nutritious substances. Females that have sex with several virgins lay more and bigger eggs than those that do it with only one or with males that have lost their virginity and consequently make sperm packets only half the size of their virgin glory...."
This is not your father's birds and bees
Recent research challenges notion of female monogamy
Carol Cruzan Morton, Special to The Chronicle Monday, February 17, 2003
Bar the doors and break out the chastity belts, boys, because girls of most species sleep around, and it's for their own good, if not yours.
For generations, biologists had assumed females to be naturally chaste, while males were renowned for their promiscuity. Even Charles Darwin, who invented the idea of sexual selection, didn't dare challenge the Victorian morals of his day. Man evolved from ape, fine. But an immodest and lustful Mother Nature? Heaven forbid!
Now, hundreds of studies and a spate of books are challenging that conventional wisdom. Females of many species, it turns out, have evolved strategies for passing on their genes that involve copulating with multiple males -- and recognition of that fact is literally changing our view of the birds and the bees.
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