DragonflyIssuesInEvolution13 Wiki

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Fisherian Runaway (Fisher's Runaway)[]



Fisherian runaway is a model of sexual selection that aims to explain why traits that do not obviously increase survival are picked.  The term "runaway" means that over time, this process would facilitate greater development of more pronounced traits is left unchecked.  Fisherian runaway explains that multiple preferences evolve when the joint cost of the two preferences is not much more than the maximum of either cost (Pomiankowski, A. & Iwasa, Y. 1993).

An example would be the peacock.  Are large, colorful tails, or smaller ones that can better escape predators chosen?  The female peacock seems to be attracted to large, colorful males.  But these males can have difficulty escaping predators.  So should the female chose the mate she is attracted to, which might give her male offspring the advantage in attracting mates; or should she chose the mate who can give her offspring the better chance of getting away from predators?  (see Evolution 101 from Berkeley)

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