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Call Duration as an Indicator of Genetic Quality in Male Gray Tree Frogs

Science  19 Jun 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5371, pp. 1928-1930
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5371.1928

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Abstract

The “good genes” hypothesis predicts that mating preferences enable females to select mates of superior genetic quality. The genetic consequences of the preference shown by female gray tree frogs for long-duration calls were evaluated by comparing the performance of maternal half-siblings sired by males with different call durations. Offspring of male gray tree frogs that produced long calls showed better performance during larval and juvenile stages than did offspring of males that produced short calls. These data suggest that call duration can function as a reliable indicator of heritable genetic quality.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: awelch{at}biosci.mbp.missouri.edu

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