Friday, July 06, 2007

Best Males Have Less Successful Daughters

Studies of red deer published recently in Nature suggest that the most successful males are more likely to produce less fertile daughters.

Male and female deer need different attributes to succeed. Genes which prove to be an advantage in fathers don't necessarily prove beneficial in daughters.

Males who win fights for females go on to produce daughters who have fewer offspring, whereas the daughters of less successful males demonstrate higher fertility.

The research helps explain why, despite natural selection, there can still be broad biological diversity between individuals in a population.

In humans, there is evidence that homosexual men are more likely to have female relatives with high fertility.

Of course, in human societies, another reason for the occurance of broad biological diversity is that we need a broad variety of people to fulfill different roles. Eg., I read a study some years ago that found that, in general, the best drivers were those of average intelligence.

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