Females on top: Three Steps to Emancipation Classical polyandry occurs when a female breeds with several males who will raise their offspring alone. New research suggests that three evolutionary steps are crucial for this type of mating system with reversed sex roles to develop. Firstly, males take on care of the eggs (the reasons why differ between fishes and birds). Secondly, females become able to lay more eggs than a male can accommodate. Thirdly, females compete with each other to lay clutches for several males. Successful polyandrous females have more offspring, thereby spreading characteristics that make for success in competition over males, such as large size and strength, and attractive colours.
Source: Eurekalert & othersLast reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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