Do We Need Promiscuous Females to Survive?

In the jungle, male chimps frequently and brutally beat females, sometimes using branches as weapons. But apparently, male chimps didn't just beat up on females at random: female chimps who were victims of the worst attacks not only had far more sex--and most often with the males that beat them--but were also the most fertile, with twice the average odds of a sexual encounter resulting in pregnancy. "Males are basically trying to force females into exclusive mating relationships," says Muller. (Source: ScienceMag)

(Telegraph) Promiscuous females ‘could prevent species becoming extinct’

Promiscuous females could prevent their species becoming extinct, scientists have found.

According to research by the Universities of Exeter and Liverpool, females that have multiple mates reduce the risk of producing a brood of offspring without males.

The study, published today in Current Biology, says an all-female brood could occur when all the ‘male’ Y chromosome sperm are killed before fertilisation, because of a sex-ratio distortion (SR) chromosome.

Scientists believe all-female broods will pass the chromosome on to their sons, which will in turn produce more female-only broods and eventually there will be no males and the population will die out.

Known as ‘polyandry’ among scientists, the phenomenon of females having multiple mates is shared across most animal species, from insects to mammals.

(See the original article here)

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