Courtship lateralization and its effect on mating success of male wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo)

Vernier, Mara E. (2016) Courtship lateralization and its effect on mating success of male wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo). Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Richard Buchholz from Biology, University of Mississippi.

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Abstract

Lateralization results from unequal processing of tasks in the different hemispheres of the brain. While lateralization is a widely researched topic of study, little is known about the effects of sexual selection on lateralization. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is lateralization of male wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) courtship and whether the presence of lateralization is associated with male mating success. Male behavioral data were collected from video recordings of courtship made by Dr. Richard Buchholz during a previous mating study. Males were categorized as either successful or unsuccessful males based on how often they were chosen by females during 173 mate choice trials. In order to assess if lateralization of courtship exists, the side (left or right) used by each male while courting the hens was recorded and quantified. My results reveal that population level lateralization does not occur in the courtship of male wild turkeys. Individual lateralization, however, was present in the majority of tested males. The most strongly lateralized males had the highest mating success. Strength of lateralization may allow females to assess male fitness in order to choose the best mate.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Vernier, Mara E.
Student's Degree Program(s): B.S. in Biology
Thesis Advisor: Richard Buchholz
Thesis Advisor's Department: Biology
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Depositing User: Mara Vernier
Date Deposited: 13 May 2016 13:33
Last Modified: 13 May 2016 13:33
URI: http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/id/eprint/556

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