Shields of offence: signalling competitive ability in the dusky moorhen, Gallinula tenebrosa
The 'status-signalling' hypothesis states that individuals might avoid unprofitable fights by signalling their competitive ability and assessing the signals of others. The frontal shields of rails (Aves:Rallidae) are fleshy structures that are displayed prominently during agonistic interactions. Shield maintenance probably requires elevated levels of testosterone and deposition of carotenoid pigments, which implies that shield size and colour could be honest signals of the ability or...[Show more]
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|Source:||Australian Journal of Zoology|
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