Sex, lies, and antelopes
Male antelope snorts trick females into sex - Technology & science - Science | NBC News
All rights reserved. During mating season, male topi antelope trick females with false alarms of nearby danger to boost chances for sex, a new study says. If a female starts wandering out of a male's territory, the male will begin snorting and staring, ears pricked, at nonexistent predators. The researcher, who observed the topi's tricky behavior in Kenya 's Masai Mara National Reserve, noted that the males issue fake warnings only when the wandering females are in heat. One day a year females are in heat, and during that period they will have sex with an average of four different mates, 11 times each.
Male antelope snorts trick females into sex
During mating season, a male topi antelope will try to keep females in heat from leaving his territory by pretending that a predator might be in the area, according to a study that will appear in the July issue of The American Naturalist. When a female appears to be leaving, the male will run in front of her, freeze in place, stare in the direction that she is going and snort loudly. Typically, that snort means that a predatory lion or cheetah was spotted, but in this case the male is faking it. Bro-Jorgensen, who studied the behavior of hundreds of topi antelopes in the Masai Mara National Reserve, said the males acted this way time after time.
Some males are so forcefully pursued by pushy females that they refuse the advances of previous partners. According to research published in the journal Current Biology, this helps males conserve their sperm for the possibility of mating with new females. It therefore increases the chances of fatherhood with the widest possible number of partners. It is not uncommon to see males collapsing with exhaustion as the demands of the females get too much for them Dr Jakob Bro-Jorgensen, ZSL Dr Jakob Bro-Jorgensen, the scientist conducting the Zoological Society of London ZSL research, said: "In cases where the male antelope was free to choose between females, he deliberately went for the most novel mate, rather than the most high-ranking.