The Living Elephants: Evolutionary Ecology, Behavior, and Conservation

By Raman Sukumar | Go to book overview

3
Bulls, Musth, and Cows
The Elephantine Mating Game

3.1 Introduction

The breeding system of a species has important ecological and evolutionary consequences. Among the mammals, differences between the sexes in body size and the intensity of secondary sexual characters such as coat color or ornamentation (antlers, for instance) in males are significantly correlated with reproductive strategies. Charles Darwin (1871, Vol. II) noted that, among monogamous seals, the sexes were approximately equal in body size, while in polygynous seals, the males were up to six times larger than the females. The males of polygynous species are also more likely to sport elaborate ornamentation, such as large antlers or horns, which in Darwin's words are “singularly ill-fitted for fighting” (p. 251) but are “used chiefly or exclusively for pushing and fencing” (p. 253).

The elephant is a polygynous mammal, as are 95% of all mammals. Polygyny has been defined by William Shields as a situation when “more females than males breed, with the result that variance in reproductive success is greater in males than in females. The greater the difference in variance, the greater the degree of polygyny. The degree of dimorphism between the sexes is a good indicator of the degree of polygyny in a species. The elephant is one of the most sexually dimorphic of mammals. In African elephants, a full-grown male weighs twice as much as a full-grown female, making these among the most sexually dimorphic (and also polygynous) of all mammals.

-89-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Living Elephants: Evolutionary Ecology, Behavior, and Conservation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 478

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.