Part One: What Females Want | Part Two: What Males Will Do
Female jumping spiders will attack and eat anything that moves. This often includes males who may be courting them. So, if a male falls short in convincing a female that he will be a good mate, he may become lunch. This is a compelling reason for males to work hard in perfecting their courtship dances.
In the mating game, it is not always “do or die,” but the penalties can be severe, and there is no single tried and true approach when it comes to the fascinating strategy of attracting a mate. Charles Darwin called it “sexual selection.” NATURE is calling it What Females Want and Males Will Do for love — a two-part miniseries about sexual selection.
What Females Want and Males Will Do explores the evolution of sexual strategies and what makes certain species winners and losers in the mating game. Courtship drives evolution by controlling whose genes are passed on to the next generation, and intense competition gives rise to a wide array of dazzling displays and impressive ornamentation.
From spiders that dance and monkeys that drum in the name of love, to female geladas that seek male partners with hot, red chest patches — this program about sexual selection explores the unique behaviors and special adaptations that determine how animals pick their mates, and how these selections affect future generations. In some species, the normal rules of mating are turned on their head, such as the feisty female topi antelope champing at the bit to have sex with an aloof male or bonobo males practicing free love.
Scientists around the world are making amazing new discoveries about the complex nature of courtship and competition throughout the animal kingdom. It’s sexual education that takes us way beyond the “birds and the bees.”
Part Two: What Males Will Do — Apparently, there is nothing a male will not do for the right to mate with a female — dance, sing, fight, change body colors, illuminate, even agree to be eaten alive. There is often a surplus of males, and they are instinctively driven to compete in order to pass their genes to the next generation. But it takes two to tango. Now, scientists are learning to what extremes males will go in order to find that dance partner.
To order a copy of What Females Want and Males Will Do, please visit the NATURE Shop.
Online content for What Males Will Do was originally posted April 2008.
Production Credits Print
F. MURRAY ABRAHAM
Produced and Directed by
Post Production Supervisor
SURINAME FOREST SERVICE (LLB)
US BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
DR. DAVID E. HILL
DR. FREDERIC VENCL
PUMP MUSIC LIBRARY
Stock Footage Researchers
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NATURAL HISTORY NEW ZEALAND
HOWARD HALL PRODUCTIONS
DR. KIMBERLY BOSTWICK
SILVERMAN STOCK FOOTAGE
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DIGITAL MOTION
JULIE SCHAPIRO THORMAN
HD Online Editor
Executive In Charge
A Production of Pangolin Pictures and Thirteen/WNET New York
This program was produced by Thirteen/WNET New York, which is solely responsible for its content.
© 2008 Educational Broadcasting Corporation
All rights reserved
Director of Production
DANIEL B. GREENBERG
Director of Digital Strategy
Photos for "Overview," "Making the Grade," and "Resources" © EBC. Other photos for "Making the Grade" cited in context. Photo for "Meet the Mate Munchers" © Ronald F. Billings, Texas Forest Service. Other photos from "What Males Will Do."
Thirteen Online is a production of Thirteen/WNET New York's Kravis Multimedia Education Center in New York City. Dan Goldman, Executive Director, thirteen.org. Bob Adleman, Business Manager.