The Arms Race of the Beetle
A major engine of evolution is sexual selection, in which (almost always) the females of a species will select mates with certain characteristics, which causes those traits to become exaggerated over time. One great example is the amazing plumage and mating displays of the birds of paradise. In beetles, writes Nicholas Wade at the New York Times, sexual selection occurs when males compete for access to females during mating season, often using horns. But strangely, according to one review, it seems that as the weapons of beetles have become more extreme and outlandish, the less deadly they’ve become. Be sure to check out the article below, but also see the slideshow of spectacular beetles.
- Beetle Weaponry Slideshow - NYT
- Sexual Selection - Wikiepdia
- Extravagant Results of Nature’s Arms Race - NYT