Coevolution of Male and Female Genital Morphology in Waterfowl


Show simple item record Brennan, Patricia L.R. en_US Prum, Richard O. en_US McCracken, Kevin G. en_US Sorenson, Michael D. en_US Wilson, Robert E. en_US Birkhead, Tim R. en_US 2012-01-11T16:55:00Z 2012-01-11T16:55:00Z 2007-5-2 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Brennan, Patricia L.R., Richard O. Prum, Kevin G. McCracken, Michael D. Sorenson, Robert E. Wilson, Tim R. Birkhead. "Coevolution of Male and Female Genital Morphology in Waterfowl" PLoS ONE 2(5):e418. (2007) en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203 en_US
dc.description.abstract Most birds have simple genitalia; males lack external genitalia and females have simple vaginas. However, male waterfowl have a phallus whose length (1.5->40 cm) and morphological elaborations vary among species and are positively correlated with the frequency of forced extra-pair copulations among waterfowl species. Here we report morphological complexity in female genital morphology in waterfowl and describe variation vaginal morphology that is unprecedented in birds. This variation comprises two anatomical novelties: (i) dead end sacs, and (ii) clockwise coils. These vaginal structures appear to function to exclude the intromission of the counter-clockwise spiralling male phallus without female cooperation. A phylogenetically controlled comparative analysis of 16 waterfowl species shows that the degree of vaginal elaboration is positively correlated with phallus length, demonstrating that female morphological complexityhas co-evolved with male phallus length. Intersexual selection is most likely responsible for the observed coevolution, although identifying the specific mechanism is difficult. Our results suggest that females have evolved a cryptic anatomical mechanism of choice in response to forced extra-pair copulations. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship National Science Foundation en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Public Library of Science en_US
dc.title Coevolution of Male and Female Genital Morphology in Waterfowl en_US
dc.type article en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0000418 en_US
dc.identifier.pubmedid 17476339 en_US
dc.identifier.pmcid 1855079 en_US

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