What A Man Wants: Female Caudal Fin Depth and Male Sexual Selection in Poecilia reticulata

Timothy Cowan


Understanding animal behavior is key in answering some of evolution’s greatest mysteries and mating behavior in particular gives us insight into what is perhaps evolution’s greatest vehicle; sexual reproduction. The mating behavior of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) is well understood and can be used in research to better understand the factors that drive the species’ reproductive tendencies and ultimately mold the genotypes and phenotypes of the individuals within species. 3-D printed guppy models make it possible to alter any attribute of the fish. In this study two identical models in every aspect except caudal fin depth were placed at different ends of an aquarium with a male guppy. The male’s behavior and proximity to the models was recorded over a series of five minute periods. 

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