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Do Animals Prefer Smarter Mates?

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A couple of Budgerigars are seen inside their cage at the Emperor Valley Zoo and Botanical Garden of Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago.

“Survival of the fittest” can’t explain all animal traits. Take bright-colored patterns or bird songs, for example. If anything, these should make animals more obvious prey. There’s another explanation for ostentatious colors and loud singing though. Female mating preferences are an essential driver of evolution, and a recent paper has revealed the first direct link (in a non-human species) between female mating preference and intelligence.

According to the research, published in the journal Science, female budgerigars (or budgies), small, colorful parrots native to Australia, prefer spending time with males that can solve puzzles. This evidence that female birds can and do assess male cleverness when selecting mates confirms an important hypothesis that Charles Darwin made back when he first proposed the theory of evolution.

Producing babies and taking care of them requires a lot of time and energy, for female animals in particular (at least in most species), so it is in their best interest to find a mate that will help produce the best possible offspring. Females can use cues like complex songs and feather color to see how healthy, clever, and well-fed a potential mate is, indicating that he is more likely to have healthy, clever, and well-fed children. Over generations, this will lead to animals with brighter feathers and better songs, since the best birds will have more offspring that will inherit their attractive traits and continue passing them on.

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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !