What they found out about the social life of the Indonesian octopus Abdopus aculeatus is the stuff of daytime television: jealousy, brawls, betrayal, sneaking around behind one another's backs if they had backs, that is and, a soap-opera favorite, the open-ended question of paternity.The researchers discovered that males of this species are picky, preferentially bestowing their conjugal attentions on large females, and will guard a single female for up to 10 days (or more), mating with her frequently and fighting off other beaus that come calling sometimes while still engaged in mating!Read the comic strip Survival of the Sneakiest, which discusses the concept of evolutionary fitness.Explain what fitness means in terms of these octopuses.
This news brief describes traits which have been affected by sexual selection.
The key to understanding the evolution of sneaky mating behavior is the other mating strategy present in most of the animals listed above: the mating monopoly.
A monopolizing male attracts one or more females with his impressive coloration, large territory, willingness to care for eggs, or handsome sponge, in the case of the marine isopod, mates (often repeatedly), and tries to prevent his consorts from bestowing sexual favors on other males.
The smallest males of one marine isopod species make up for their small size with heavy investment in sperm.
These little crustaceans sneak into the sponge commandeered as a love nest by a larger male and then dive bomb the mating couple, releasing a cloud of sperm at the critical moment.
Research and describe traits in three other organisms not mentioned in this article that have been affected by sexual selection.