Male mate choice and male-male competition coexist in the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

Craig, Alison S, Herman, Louis M and Pack, Adam A (2002) Male mate choice and male-male competition coexist in the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Canadian Journal of Zoology, 80 (4). pp. 745-755. ISSN 0008-4301

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Male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) outnumber females on the winter grounds and compete physically for proximity to females. Analyses of identification photographs collected in Hawai¢i from 1976 through
1995 and scan samples collected in 1998 showed that (i) reproductive potential (calving rate) for the following winter was greater for females without a calf than females with a calf, (ii) females without a calf were less likely to be found alone and more likely to be found in large pods than females with a calf, (iii) individual females were found in larger pods when without a calf than when with a calf, (iv) the probability of females with a calf being escorted by one or more males increased as the reproductive season progressed, and (v) head lunges occurred more commonly in all-adult pods than in pods containing a calf. We concluded that male humpback whales associate preferentially with females with high reproductive potential, that the attractiveness of individual females varies with their status (with a calf versus without a calf), that males become progressively less choosy over the course of the reproductive season as females without a calf become increasingly rare on the winter grounds, and that males expend more energy in competition over females without a calf than females with a calf.

Item Type: Article
Print ISSN: 0008-4301
Electronic ISSN: 1480-3283
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humpback whales; Mating behaviour; Mate selection; Competitive behaviour;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Health, Life & Social Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology) > 599 Mammals > 599.5 Cetacea & Sirenia
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology) > 591 Specific topics in natural history > 591.5 Behaviour
Library of Congress Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Q Science > QH Natural history
Item ID: 1710
Depositing User: RAE Import
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2008 09:42
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2013 15:21

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