What Females Want | What Males Will Do

About

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

Television Credits

Narrated by
F. MURRAY ABRAHAM

Produced and Directed by
KEVIN BACHAR

Writer
JAIME BERNANKE

Editor
JIM ISLER

Field Producer
JOEY ALLEN

Cinematographers
PAUL ATKINS
KEVIN BACHAR
KENT HARVEY
JOHN HAZARD
MARK LAMBLE
SCOTT SNIDER
JOHN YOUNG

Macro Cinematography
SCOTT SNIDER

Additional Cinematography
REUBEN AARONSON

Associate Producers
ALEXIS SIGGERS
JESSICA SHERRY
RYAN DOYLE

Sound Recordists
DAVID RUDDICK
JOHN O'CONNOR
BRIAN MACALLISTER
JAMES HARDY

Fixers
STUART VERVUURT
CHADDEN HUNTER

Post Production Supervisor
RYAN DOYLE

Assistant Editors
BRICE BISHOP-PULLAN
ROBERT JOHNSON
TOM SAWYER
SERIM YILMAZ

Sound Editor
BRIAN BEATRICE

Online Editor
JOSHUA KANUCK

Colorist
IRA SCHWEITZER

Re-Recording Mixer
BRIAN BEATRICE

Special Thanks
SURINAME FOREST SERVICE (LLB)
STINASU
US BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
LESLEY LANCASTER
DR. DAVID E. HILL
DR. FREDERIC VENCL

Music Supervisor
JIM ISLER

Music
PUMP MUSIC LIBRARY

Stock Footage Researchers
ALEXIS SIGGERS
RYAN DOYLE

Stock Footage
BBC MOTION GALLERY
NATURAL HISTORY NEW ZEALAND
HOWARD HALL PRODUCTIONS
DR. KIMBERLY BOSTWICK
ITN SOURCE
SILVERMAN STOCK FOOTAGE
OXFORD SCIENTIFIC
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DIGITAL MOTION

For NATURE

Series Editor
JANET HESS

Supervising Producer
JANICE YOUNG

Senior Producer
LAURA METZGER

Producer
JILL CLARKE
IRENE TEJARATCHI

Production Manager
JULIE SCHAPIRO THORMAN

Production Assistant
JAYNE JUN

Manager
EILEEN FRAHER

Audio Engineer
DOUG JOHNSON

HD Online Editor
DAVID NOLING

Series Producer
BILL MURPHY

Executive In Charge
WILLIAM GRANT

Executive Producer
FRED KAUFMAN

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

Web Credits

Director of Production
DANIEL B. GREENBERG

Producer
TANNER VEA

Production Assistant
DANIEL ROSS

Writer
ELYSE EISENBERG

Designer
MICHAEL DIMAURO

Creative Director
NICK MILLER

Pagebuilding
BRIAN SANTALONE

Technical Director
BRIAN LEE

Director of Digital Strategy
DAVID HIRMES

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.