Dimorphism and sexual selection: Miss Universe

I couldn’t help myself…

A while ago I wrote a post about sexual selection in nature, and how nature often produces species with dimorphic sexes, where the male tends to be brightly coloured and showy and the female tends to be cryptic and drab.  This is generally thought to be because the caretaker of the offspring invests more and is therefore choosier, but also because being cryptic prevents the caretaker from being eaten and attracting predators to the offspring.  There are some exceptions to this rule in nature, and I argued that humans are one of those exceptions.

Well, NPR just posted a series of photos from the Miss Universe pageant and it reminded me so strongly of sexual selection in nature (which generally produces brightly coloured, showy males) that I had to share. Don’t they just look like birds of paradise?!

Miss Universe

http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2015/01/22/379081232/the-amazing-miss-universe-national-costume-show

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3 thoughts on “Dimorphism and sexual selection: Miss Universe

  1. All right . . . I understand that a lot of sexual attraction is visual for men, but . . . I’m not really sure what those costumes were designed to attract besides a really startled second look! You have a point, though extreme, those costumes do point out that, at the present time, women’s fashions are certainly much more . . . gaudy and colorful than men’s. Though throughout history this was not always the case. Perhaps we don’t have to worry much about attracting predators to our nests, in many sad cases though the predator is already there. I do however love how we have co-opted the feathers! Those costumes were . . . amazing on so many levels !

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