S12-3 Thu Jan 7 10:45 – 11:00 Physiological basis of display evolution in the golden-collared manakin Fuxjager, MJ; Brown University firstname.lastname@example.org
Sexual selection produces a variety of extraordinary traits used to court mates and compete with rivals in reproductive contexts. This process is often predicated on concomitant changes to an organism’s physiology, which in turn support the emergence of extreme or complex morphology and/or behavior. Yet despite widespread recognition of the important connections between sexual selection and physiology, these links are not often studied. My research program helps fill this gap by investigating manakin birds, given that many species in this family perform extraordinary courtship displays that often require specialized motor capabilities. In particular, I focus on golden-collared manakins (Manacus vitellinus), as males of this species perform an acrobatic sexual display that involves rapid gestural movements. My work shows that modifications to this bird’s androgenic hormone system within the skeletal musculature reshape performance abilities in a way that allows for behavioral innovation in response to sexual selection. This work is discussed, with an emphasis on the ability of hormones to influence performance tradeoffs that impact behavioral output. Overall, my results shed light on the role hormone systems play in behavioral evolution in response to sexual selection.