Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Male antelope scares female into staying for sex

During mating season, male topi antelope trick females with false alarms of nearby danger to boost chances for sex, a new study says. If a female starts wandering out of a male's territory, the male will begin snorting and staring, ears pricked, at nonexistent predators."The female will be walking away, and the male runs in front, looks not at the female but where she's going, makes this snort, and she typically stops," said lead researcher Jakob Bro-Jørgensen of the University of Liverpool.

The paper is in The American Naturalist (Male Topi Antelopes Alarm Snort Deceptively to Retain Females for Mating) and there's a news report at the National Geographic site.

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