Constraints on Sexual Selection

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Science  09 Nov 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6108, pp. 749-750
DOI: 10.1126/science.1230395

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Ever since Darwin (1) identified female choice of mates as a mechanism of sexual selection, it has been a challenge for evolutionary biologists to quantitatively integrate sexual selection, acting on reproductive fitness at the time of mating, with natural selection, acting on viability at other times in the life cycle. On page 802 of this issue, Byers and Dunn (2) report an important step toward this goal. They show how female choice of mates and offspring mortality together affect the strength of selection acting on male pronghorns, Antilocapra americana.