Since in many species, sperm is males’ only contribution to reproduction, biologists have long puzzled about why evolutionary selection, known for its ruthless efficiency, allows them to exist.
Now British scientists have an explanation: Males are required for a process known as “sexual selection” which helps species to ward off disease and avoid extinction.
When it comes to birds, males—with their bright feathers, extra accessories, and impressive mating displays—tend to get all the attention. But for many birds, such as the Choco Toucan pictured above, brilliant plumage has nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with survival.
Dull colors of females often aids in camouflage when raising young on the nest.
With respect to people, colours have a different meaning. For example, red is considered a colour of attraction in North American culture – but in Asia, that colour would be green. The colours that indicate good/bad or life/death are reversed when you compare North American to Asian. Bad characters in Asian culture wear white… Blue however consistently polls as “calming, soothing, and trustworthy” – to the point that Microsoft patented the “Microsoft blue”. I wonder if the association comes from water and/or sky?
For a time, professional sport used colour to intimidate the visiting team. As the story goes, this was done by painting the visitor change room pink. In practice, it’s disconcerting initially and eventually wears off – you get desensitized. But the professional league cracked down on the practice, enforcing that vistor and home team change rooms had to be the same colour. Similarly, colour has been used in hospitals with the intention to influence mood.
Remember than peacocks are male. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a peahen, or peachicks. Maybe it’s like female dwarves in Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, or female Krogan in Mass Effect? 😉