Automatic Sexual Chemistry
Can be tied to an intensive period of volcanic activity and resulting greenhouse effects, and probably a series of many asteroid hits. However, she agrees that her theory may not be as riveting as a massive space object hitting Earth. 'Dinosaurs are very popular, and the asteroid theory is sexy, it's a perfect story, and in the past few years it's all you've read in the popular press', she adds.
Despite the defensive emphasis of such prominent features, thyreophorans probably had multiple purposes for their more visual osteoderms, such as display for sexual attraction, forms of intraspecific competition or, in the case of some stegosaurs, body heat regulation. Unfortunately, little more is known about thyreophoran lifestyles than through their skeletal remains. Some trackways from ankylosaurs and stegosaurs have been identified, but no eggs, nest structures, toothmarks, or coprolites have been tied to thyreophorans. Consequently, an approach that uses multiple lines of evidence must be limited to considering the functional morphology and biomechanics of thyreophorans. Because this information is all that paleontologists have for forming their hypotheses about thyreophorans, much of what is presented in this chapter may change considerably in the future with new discoveries. Regardless, thyreophorans provide an extreme in dermal armor never seen in any other land-dwelling...
Before mating occurs in modern vertebrates, males and females both use methods of sexual attraction in which they undergo sexual selection, or the choosing of their mates on the basis of preferred traits. When done by enough individuals within a population, this process ultimately affects the evolutionary history of a species by causing genetic change of that population over time (Chapter 6). Some birds that have colorful or prominent plumage in one gender, such as peacocks, provide examples of sexual selection, in which they cause a visual stimulus for a potential mate. In this respect, the elaborate and prominent head shields and horns of
In some ways the similarities of these various processes are all the more surprising, given both the various differences in avian and mammalian brain structure, e.g. the absence of a multi-layered cortex in the avian brain, and in some species of bird strong sexual dimorphism of song production. Yet the similarities, striking or otherwise, still emerge. Even so, Doupe and Kuhl are careful to qualify these remarks, noting that although the parallels are striking there are also a number of obvious differences, most notably the human possession of a grammar (but see Chapter 9). Yet what they rightly call the 'numerous parallels'179 between my remarking to my companion on the beauty of a bird's song and the song itself, suggest that not only warm-bloodedness and viviparity but also at least some mechanisms of both vocalization and song may be widespread across the Galaxy (see note 132, Chapter 9). So, too, given the recurrent emphasis on evolutionary convergence, it is not surprising to...
Rearing domestic carnivores in socially deprived conditions also results in sexual behaviour deficiencies. Female domestic cats hand-reared and isolated from conspecifics show fewer courtship, amicable and copulatory behaviours than mother-nurtured females or those reared with siblings (Mellen, 1989, 1992). Additionally, female kittens that grow up with siblings are more sexually competent than females reared in isolation but less competent than mother-reared counterparts. Male dogs developed in isolation have sexual behaviour deficiencies unlike males raised in groups or with limited peer contact (Beach, 1968). (Zheng et al, 1997). This is especially important given that a female has only one period of receptivity per year (one three-day oestrus) to copulate for producing offspring. In one ex situ population survey, 21 of the 43 breeding-age females (6 to 20 years of age) had not produced any surviving offspring (J. Ballou, pers. comm.). Nine of these were wild-born and, thus,...
It has long been observed that men and women often have very different attitudes about sex, with resulting differences in their behavior. Women tend to be much more selective about whom they mate with men are typically less choosy. Men are frequently eager to engage in casual sex women are generally reluctant to do so, and often insist on a long-term commitment before engaging in sex. To the extent that men are selective, they tend to be especially attracted to women with youthful good looks. Women place relatively more importance on a man's wealth, income, and influence, and on his apparent sincerity.1
Before 1980, scientists had come up with over 100 theories for what might have happened 65 million years ago. These theories ranged from the reasonable (global climate change, change in plants, impact, plate tectonic movements, sea-level change) to the frankly ludicrous (loss of sexual appetite, increasing stupidity or hormonal imbalance of the dinosaurs, competition with caterpillars for plant food, mammals ate all the dinosaur eggs). A number of serious efforts had been made to document just what happened through the KT interval and to look at environmental and other changes. Then the bombshell struck.
Interpenetrating stalks.250 As might also be expected, the electric organ itself has evolved. Primitive and advanced arrangements can thus be recognized, but there is evidence in this organ for both reversion as well as convergence.251 Control of the electric organ is from the brain, via particular nerves known as the electromotor nerve axons. The resultant electric organ discharge (or EOD) that is transmitted into the water varies remarkably in duration, frequency, number of peaks, and polarity according to the species concerned.252 There is, moreover, one important difference between the gymnotids and mormyrids inasmuch as with one exception the mormyrids produce the electrical signal as discrete pulses, whereas the gymnotids produce an effectively continuous signal as a wave form. In the case of the gym-notids there is also some evidence that the signals associated with communication, especially important in the sexual context, may be generated in a different region of the fish...
The dangling scrotum also serves as a sexual signal in many mammals. Between the physiological advantages of having gonads outside the body wall, and the occasional benefits this provides in securing mates, there are ample advantages for our distant mammalian ancestors in having a scrotum.
Although its precise function is not known, flehmen often occurs before or during early courtship, and it is believed to be involved in the olfactory testing of the female's urine by the male to determine her state of sexual readiness. Flehmen has been observed in a wide spectrum of mammals,
One excellent test of the merit of scientific ideas is their subsequent validation. A theory is put forward on fragmentary evidence, then an experiment is performed, the outcome of which the proposer of the theory could not know. If the experiment confirms the original idea, this is usually taken as strong support for the theory. Freud held that the great majority, perhaps all, of the psychic energy of our primary-process emotions and dream material is sexual in origin. The absolutely essential role of sexual interest in providing for the propagation of the species makes this idea neither as silly nor as depraved as it appeared to many of Freud's Victorian contemporaries. Carl Gustav Jung, for example, held that Freud had severely overstated the primacy
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