Shit happens – a glimpse into males’ mating tactics in a polygynous ungulate - the reindeer
Keywords:intrasexual selection, male-male combats, mating tactics, reindeer, reindeer male mating strategy, videos
AbstractThis is about the two big "guys", Spot and Mika, and their endeavour to propagate their genes during the mating season 2007. They were 6 and 5 years old weighting 172 and 141 kg before rut, respectively. Together with 23 other males (one 5 yrs, two 4 yrs, three 3 yrs, six 2 yrs and eleven 1 yr old) they roamed within a ~15 km2 fenced area competing for access to 87 females. Indeed, the competition was intense and all males present contributed to the dynamic observed. Especially Hot, the heaviest 4 yrs old male weighing 155 kg before rut, played a prominent role - in addition to Spot and Mika, their mating tactics being highly dynamic. However there is no short cut to success - strength have to be coupled with smartness - but shit happens - as we'll see.
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