Early life experiences affect the degree to which female mate choice is copied
- Written by Thomas Hesselberg
- Parent Category: Zoology and botany
- Created: 23 July 2007
The biologist Lee Dugatkin from the University of Louisville in USA used this system to investigate if cultural transmission is determined by ontogeny. He tested this by raising a group of 15 guppies in different social environments such as in the presence of virgin females and adult males, adult males only, virgin females only or alone. After 35 days the guppies were placed in individual aquaria until they reached maturity. They were then tested on their tendency to copy other females mate choice. Dugatkin found that conditions which mimic the natural environments, guppies swimming alone in large schools or together with adults of both sex results in much larger cultural transmission that unnatural environments. A result that may well be applicable to other social animals including humans.
Dugatkin, L. A. (2007). Developmental environment, cultural transmission, and mate choice copying. Naturwissenschaften 94: 651-656.