Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How to get the girls

This post, as the title says, provides useful input on how to get the girls, provided you are an orangutan, of course! A recent study of orangutan strategies for success with lady orangutans, indicate that male orangutans who prolong their years of puberty, sometimes by as much as a decade, develop their physical strength to a point where they can easily displace the dominant males, and thereby acquire all the females. This conclusion is backed by years of field data as well as a simple but solid mathematical model developed by Gauri Pradhan, an alumnus of the University of Pune, who now works at the University of South Florida, and co-workers. However, before all the teenage boys start figuring out how to delay the onset of chest hair, (the orangutans delay the onset of cheek flanges), a few caveats are necessary. The model works for Sumatran orangutans where the societal structure is such that the dominant male can monopolise many females, and does not extend, for example,  to  Bornean orangutans, where the society is structured differently. Secondly, males who have taken recourse to this strategy are shorter lived. Therefore, extensions to Homo Sapiens society should be carried out with care!

For those who wish to pursue this subject further, the original article can be found in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, as well as in news shorts by the New Scientist, and, of course, Monkey News.

This blog post is by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.

1 comment:

AmOK said...

Should it not be said that natural selection favors the late-cheeky-flangy animals? The particular animal doesn't regulate its own puberty by pure thought does it?