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Natural selection promotes....

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Natural selection promotes....

Postby buffy121 » Sat Sep 05, 2009 4:43 am

How does natural selection promote pre-mating reproductive isolating mechanisms?

I'm doing something on two species of frog who have different mating calls as a pre-mating isolating mechanism. In areas where they coexist, they have a different mating call so they only mate with their own species. How does natural selection promote this?

Any help would be appreciated
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Postby robsabba » Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:25 pm

Interesting question. I am not sure if Natural Selection actually promotes such mechanisms or not. There is published research on pre-mating isloating mechanisms in song birds. In this case, changes in diet result in changes in beak shape. A consequence of this is a change in the song that the birds sing to find mates. Thus, Natural Selection changed the beak shape, and only as a consequence did an isolating mechanism develop. I wonder if you are dealing with a similar situation with these frogs?
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Postby canalon » Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:43 pm

I remember reading something about that a while ago... which means that I do not remember where or the details. But it was linked with sexual selection.
I could see a scenario where the pre-mating calls preferences would separate populations. It might have been in the "Red Queen" by Matt Ridley.
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Re: Natural selection promotes....

Postby Dougalbod » Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:28 pm

buffy121 wrote:How does natural selection promote pre-mating reproductive isolating mechanisms?

I'm doing something on two species of frog who have different mating calls as a pre-mating isolating mechanism. In areas where they coexist, they have a different mating call so they only mate with their own species. How does natural selection promote this?

Any help would be appreciated


Individuals who spend time and energy mating with individuals from another species will not produce viable offspring. They will be at a disadvantage to individuals who ensure they they mate within the species, thereby producing viable offspring. Therefore natural selection will select for behaviours/mechanisms which ensure that
compatable mates are chosen.

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