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How sexual selection can drive the evolution of costly sperm ornamentation

Overview of attention for article published in Nature, May 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (95th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
94 news outlets
blogs
7 blogs
twitter
134 tweeters
facebook
4 Facebook pages
wikipedia
2 Wikipedia pages

Citations

dimensions_citation
49 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
240 Mendeley
Title
How sexual selection can drive the evolution of costly sperm ornamentation
Published in
Nature, May 2016
DOI 10.1038/nature18005
Pubmed ID
Authors

Stefan Lüpold, Mollie K. Manier, Nalini Puniamoorthy, Christopher Schoff, William T. Starmer, Shannon H. Buckley Luepold, John M. Belote, Scott Pitnick

Abstract

Post-copulatory sexual selection (PSS), fuelled by female promiscuity, is credited with the rapid evolution of sperm quality traits across diverse taxa. Yet, our understanding of the adaptive significance of sperm ornaments and the cryptic female preferences driving their evolution is extremely limited. Here we review the evolutionary allometry of exaggerated sexual traits (for example, antlers, horns, tail feathers, mandibles and dewlaps), show that the giant sperm of some Drosophila species are possibly the most extreme ornaments in all of nature and demonstrate how their existence challenges theories explaining the intensity of sexual selection, mating-system evolution and the fundamental nature of sex differences. We also combine quantitative genetic analyses of interacting sex-specific traits in D. melanogaster with comparative analyses of the condition dependence of male and female reproductive potential across species with varying ornament size to reveal complex dynamics that may underlie sperm-length evolution. Our results suggest that producing few gigantic sperm evolved by (1) Fisherian runaway selection mediated by genetic correlations between sperm length, the female preference for long sperm and female mating frequency, and (2) longer sperm increasing the indirect benefits to females. Our results also suggest that the developmental integration of sperm quality and quantity renders post-copulatory sexual selection on ejaculates unlikely to treat male-male competition and female choice as discrete processes.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 134 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 240 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Brazil 2 <1%
Portugal 1 <1%
Bolivia, Plurinational State of 1 <1%
Italy 1 <1%
Austria 1 <1%
Colombia 1 <1%
Sweden 1 <1%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Romania 1 <1%
Other 3 1%
Unknown 227 95%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 68 28%
Researcher 46 19%
Student > Master 36 15%
Student > Bachelor 32 13%
Student > Postgraduate 12 5%
Other 32 13%
Unknown 14 6%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 159 66%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 21 9%
Environmental Science 6 3%
Medicine and Dentistry 4 2%
Psychology 4 2%
Other 18 8%
Unknown 28 12%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 873. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 25 October 2019.
All research outputs
#5,684
of 13,981,852 outputs
Outputs from Nature
#887
of 71,028 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#251
of 265,476 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Nature
#41
of 972 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,981,852 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 71,028 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 78.2. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 265,476 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 972 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its contemporaries.