Friday, March 18, 2005

Of course, in Alabama, the Tuscaloosa 

Good news for Pete the Deer:

But the Spanish team found a direct link between the length and complexity of a buck's horns and the quality of its sperm.

Long, multi-pointed antlers on a buck signal that it is a potent mate and females might seek out such males for this reason, said Montserrat Gomendio, a biologist at Madrid's Museum of National Sciences who is part of the team that did the research.

Hunters measure deer antlers meticulously, have a system for evaluating them in terms of size and number of points, and award prizes for good sets.

"What this means is that what we value from an aesthetic standpoint has a biological foundation, in the sense that it transmits information on the quality of that male," Gomendio said in an interview.

Horns on male deer are known as secondary sexual characters, which were believed to lack any kind of information on reproductive capacity.

But the Spanish findings suggest otherwise and might be applied when studying other mammals — male elephants with ivory tusks or primates with large incisors — to see if they also say something about the specimen other than its ability to fight, Gomendio said.
(via AP)

Damn mai tais...

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