Animal Behavio5 - Animal Behavior Signaling and Communication Honest Signaling Zahavi's handicap principle states that in order to be honest a

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Animal Behavior: Signaling and Communication Honest Signaling Zahavi's handicap principle states that in order to be honest, a signal must be costly to the signaler. Thus, only the most fit individuals can afford to brandish an honest signal. For females looking for a mate, such a declaration of fitness will identify a particular male as a quality choice. For this reason, some signals, such as peacock's tails, become extremely exaggerated: males are trying to declare their fitness. Only the toughest males can survive with such a costly, conspicuous tail. Another example is the black bib of dominant male Harris sparrows. Only dominant males have this black bib. An experiment in which males were given a black bib by means of a magic marker showed that male was attacked by other sparrows. The male with an artificial black bib could not survive the attack; only the fittest males could have the black bib of dominance and not lose fights by challengers. There is currently much debate over whether the
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This note was uploaded on 01/27/2012 for the course BIOLOGY BSC1005 taught by Professor Rodriguez during the Winter '09 term at Broward College.

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