Lecture 1 - Evolution of Sex and Reproductive Strategies

author: Robert Wyman, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: May 14, 2010,   recorded: January 2009,   views: 6759
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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Reproduction is not simple or easy, nor is it fair. Females often bear a larger reproductive burden of child bearing and child rearing. Reproductive strategies can be simplified into two primary strategies for males and two for females: males often either engage in sperm competition or physical competition while females strategize to get resources from males, or to find the best male genes for the offspring. Rape and violence, as reproductive strategies, occur in few species, but violence is especially prevalent among the great apes, probably because eggs are so scarce in these species. Among orangutans, rape is common. For gorillas, infanticide is a common form of reproductive violence, and male chimpanzees regularly fight each other and batter females.

Reading assignment:

Wade, Nicolas. "Books on Science: Dr. Tatiana, a Dr. Ruth with Advice for Other Species." The New York Times, 5 November 2002

Forsyth, Adrian. A Natural History of Sex. The Ecology and Evolution of Sexual Behavior, chapters 1, 5, 7 and 8

Goodall, Jane. The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns and Behavior, pp. 452-3, 477-8 and 481-7

Peterson, Dale and Richard Wrangham. Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence, chapter 7

Resources: Notes - Lecture 1 [PDF]

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Comment1 gaole, July 7, 2010 at 5:18 p.m.:

thank you.

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