Revue : Nature Scientific Reports

Sexual display complexity varies non-linearly with age and predicts breeding status in greater flamingos

Auteurs :

Perrot C., Béchet A., Hanzen C., Arnaud A., Pradel R., Cézilly F.

* Auteur correspondant : Charlotte Perrot (e-mail)

Résumé :

The long-lived greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is famous for performing conspicuous group displays during which adults try to acquire a new mate each year with varying success. We examined variation in the sexual display complexity (SDC) of wild flamingos aged between 4 and 37 yrs. SDC was defined as the product of richness (the number of different display movements) and versatility (the number of transitions between movements) within a 5 min behavioral sequence. In both sexes, date in the pairing season had a linear and positive effect on SDC, whereas age had a quadratic effect, with SDC increasing until about age 20yrs, and declining afterwards. SDC better explained pairing patterns than age, and positively influenced the probability of becoming a breeder. Our results thus support the idea that SDC is an honest signal of individual quality and further suggest that senescence in display could be an overlooked aspect of reproductive decline in species with no or weak pair bonding.

Référence bibliographique complète :

Perrot C., Béchet A., Hanzen C., Arnaud A., Pradel R., Cézilly F. 2016. Sexual display complexity varies non-linearly with age and predicts breeding status in greater flamingos. Scientific Reports 6:36242. doi: 10.1038/srep36242