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intersexual selectionintersexuelle Selektion (ger.)

  • Selection for sexual attractiveness to potential mates.  

    Postures used in territorial defence and in courtship seem to have evolved through ritualisation under the influence of two main selection pressures; intra-sexual selection (Huxley, 1938) favouring those males whose postures (etc.) ensure the maintenance of territories without occasioning damaging combat and, secondly, intersexual selection of postures successful in attracting females.

    Crook, J.H. (1964). The evolution of social organisation and visual communication in the weaver birds (Ploceinae). Behaviour, Suppl, No. 10: 114.


    it was decided in advance, that intersexual selection (selection for sexual attractiveness to potential mates, epigamic selection) had promoted the evolution of bright and conspicuous colors found on the males of many species. The possibility that some of these color patterns had evolved in response to intrasexual selection (selection for the ability of males to intimidate other males) pressure was essentially ignored

    Smith, D.G. (1972). The role of the epaulets in the Red-Winged Blackbird, (Agelaius phoeniceus) social system. Behaviour 41, 251-268: 264.


    The major selective force influencing bird song is sexual selection. Darwin (1871) postulated two aspects of sexual selection: intrasexual selection for those traits that function in acquisition and maintenance of a breeding territory, and intersexual selection for those traits that affect mate selection. Often intrasexually selected traits also influence mate selection

    Howard, R.D. (1974). The influence of sexual selection and interspecific competition on mockingbird song (Mimus polyglottos). Evolution 28, 428-438: 428.