[ExI] [Bulk] Re: IQ and beauty

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon Oct 5 01:56:28 UTC 2015



From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of John Clark

>… In most animals the male is more flamboyant than the female but in the case of the peacock the fashion race seems to have gotten out of control…John K Clark


Evolution is filled with examples of species which sex-selected themselves to extinction.  Stephen Jay Gould gives the example of a branch of big horned elk.  The last fossils found shows that the antlers were getting larger and larger for the males.  Apparently they got so heavy the females could no longer bear the weight as they were mounted, all while choosing males with the biggest antlers.


It has been argued that peacocks have more brilliant colors if they are free of parasites, so peahens selecting the most brilliantly colored males are selecting for the healthiest mates.  If we really want to stretch, we could argue that the peacock would be impossible for a serpent to swallow, being too long.  Or that the huge tail would discourage some predators, who could be intimidated by its size.


Still I agree that as the tails become too unwieldly, this is more likely an example of mate selection to extinction.






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