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  • Brood Parasitism - when members of the same species surreptitiously place their own eggs in another’s nest so that the parenting costs are placed on the host. Evidence for this would include above average clutch sizes and parasite visitations to find and use host nests, which is known as “hole-nesting” (Evarts 1987).
  • Cloaca - the opening through which birds pass their excrement; also used directly by both sexes in most bird species to mate
  • Clutch - group of eggs that a hen lays from one season
  • constraints theory - “says that when individuals reproduce with nonpreferred partners, they will have offspring of lower viability than when individuals reproduce with preferred partners” (Bluhm and Gowaty 2004).
  • Drake - male duck
  • Eversion - the process of being turned outward as with the finger of a glove when the hand is removed
  • Forced copulation - an act of mating in which one member of the party is unwilling; this may be between pair-bonded individuals and not just extra-pair
  • Good Genes Hypothesis - choosing mates under sexual selection, in this case for the indirect benefits that they provide, namely genes
  • Hen - female duck
  • Intromittent organ - an external organ, usually of males used to deliver sperm. Can be seen in females, where it is used to receive sperm.
  • Mate-choice hypothesis for indirect benefits - see good genes hypothesis
  • Phylogenetic Evidence - evidence derived from assumptions about the ancestry of an organism. Based on data drawn from various sources including the fossil record and genetic analysis.
  • Reproductive success - the relative production of fertile offspring by an individual.
  • Seasonal pair-bond - a mutualistic bond between two mates, in which both stay near to each other for increased safety and reproductive success. Usually lasting in mallards until the end of the breeding season or when the female lays her clutch.
  • Sexual conflict - is the result of differing evolutionary interests between the sexes of a species. This conflict is usually due to competition for greater reproductive success amongst members of the same sex but which often involves tactics that reduce the other sex’s overall reproductive success.


  • Abraham R. 1974. Vocalizations of the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). The Condor. 76(4): 401-420.
  • Interesting but difficult to read instead of hear
  • Adler M. 2010. Sexual conflict in waterfowl: why do females resist extra-pair copulations? Behavioral Ecology. 21(1): 182-192.
  • Synthesizes a lot of information about forced copulation and makes hypothesis about resistance
  • Arnqvist G. 1998. Comparative Evidence for the Evolution of Genitalia by Sexual Selection. Nature 393: 784-786.
  • Birkhead TR, Atkin L and Møller 1987. AP. Copulation Behaviour of Birds. Behaviour. 101: 101-138.
  • Birkhead TR, Cunningham EJA and Cheng KM. 1996. The Insemination Window Provides a Distorted View of Sperm Competition in Birds. Proceedings: Biological Sciences. 263(1374): 1187-1192.
  • Bluhm CK and Gowaty PA. 2004. Social constraints on female mate preferences in mallards, Anas platyrhynchos , decrease offspring viability and mother productivity. Animal Behaviour. 68(5): 977-983.
  • Bluhm makes the case for good genes hypothesis with a simple experiment
  • Brennan PLR, Prum RO, McCracken KG, Sorenson MD, Wilson RE, Birkhead TR, et al. 2007. Coevolution of Male and Female Genital Morphology in Waterfowl. Coevolution of Male and Female Genital Morphology in Waterfowl. PLoS ONE 2(5): e418. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000418.
  • This is really my go to source on the sexual conflict between mallards seen in their evolution
  • Briskie J and Montgomerie R. 1997. Sexual Selection and the Intromittent Organ of Birds. Journal of Avian Biology. 28(1): 73-86.
  • Burns JT, Kimberly CM and McKinney F. 1980. Forced Copulation in Captive Mallards. I. Fertilization of Eggs. The Auk. 97(4): 875-879.
  • Cunningham EJA. 2003 Female mate preferences and subsequent resistance to copulation in the mallard. Journal of Behavioral Ecology. 14(3): 326-333.
  • Davis ES. 2002. Female choice and the benefits of mate guarding by male mallards. Animal Behaviour. 64(4): 619-628.
  • Davis ES. 2002. Male reproductive tactics in the mallard, Anas platyrhynchos: social and hormonal mechanisms. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 52(3): 224-231.
  • Explains a lot of the testosterone basis of forced copulation
  • Denk AG, Holzmann A, Peters A, Vermeirssen E and Kempenaers B. 2005. Paternity in mallards: effects of sperm quality and female sperm selection for inbreeding avoidance. Behavioral Ecology. 16(5):825-833.
  • Evarts S and Williams CJ. 1987. Multiple Paternity in a Wild Population of Mallards. The Auk. 104(4): 597-602.
  • Goodburn SF. 1984. Mate Guarding in the Mallard Anas platyrhynchos. Ornis Scandinavica. 15(4): 261-265.
  • Goode A. Mallard Duck. Northwest Wildlife Preservation Society. (External Link) .
  • Gowaty P and Buschhaus N. 1998. Ultimate Causation of Aggressive and Forced Copulation in Birds: Female Resistance, the CODE Hypothesis, and Social Monogamy. American Zoologist. 38(1):207-225.
  • Griffith SC, Owens I and Thuman K. 2002. Extra pair paternity in birds: a review of interspecific variation and adaptive function. Molecular Ecology. 11: 2195-2212.
  • Hosken D and Stockley P. 2004 Sexual selection and genital evolution. Trends in Ecology&Evolution. 19(2): 87-93.
  • Johnsgard P. 1960. A Quantitative Study of Sexual Behavior of Mallards and Black Ducks. The Wilson Bulletin. 72(2): 133-155.
  • Johnson O. 1961. Reproductive Cycle of the Mallard Duck. The Condor. 63(5) 351-364.
  • Gives important background about how the sex works and development of the organs
  • Losito M and Baldassarre. 1996. G. Pair-Bond Dissolution in Mallards. The Auk. 113(3): 692-695.
  • McCracken KG, Wilson RE, McCracken PJ and Johnson K. 2001. Sexual Selection: Are Ducks Impressed by Drakes’ display? Nature 413(6852): 128.
  • McCracken, K. 2000. The 20-cm Spiny Penis of the Argentine Lake Duck (Oxyura vittata). The Auk, 117(3): 820-825.
  • McKinney F and Evarts S. 1998. Sexual Coercion in Waterfowl and Other Birds . Ornithological Monographs. 49: 163-195.
  • McKinney seems to know his stuff on waterfowl sex. He did most of the original studies on them
  • McKinney F, Derrickson SR and Mineau P. 1983. Forced Copulation in Waterfowl. Behaviour . 86(3): 250-294.
  • Moeliker CW. 2001. The first case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard Anas platyrhynchos (Aves: Anatidae). Deinsea. 8: 243-248.
  • Omland, Kevin. 1996. Female mallard mating preferences for multiple male ornaments. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 39: 353-360.
  • Palmer CT. 1989. Rape in Nonhuman Animal Species: Definitions, Evidence, and Implications. The Journal of Sex research. 26(3):355-374.
  • Peters A, Denk AG, Delhey K and Kempenaers B. 2004. Carotenoid-based bill colour as an indicator of immunocompetence and sperm performance in male mallards. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 17(5):1111-1119.
  • Westneat D and Stewart I. EXTRA-PAIR PATERNITY IN BIRDS: Causes, Correlates, and Conflict . Annual Reviews. 34: 365-396.

About the author

Picture of Allen Gu, the author.

Allen Gu<Goo>is a mentally stable, self-preserving genetic automaton. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, he would go on to spend the majority of his life in Louisiana eating crawfish and frying under the sun. After much preteen angst over his weak kung-fu, he chose to attend Rice University where he would attend BIOS 321. After reading the Selfish Gene, he came to realize that everything he had ever done and all the cells of his entire body were being controlled by inanimate objects that are too small to see with the naked-eye. These inanimate objects, he learned were in turn made in the chaotic hell zones of prehistoric Earth completely at random as were all living things. Driven mad by the dark knowledge he had attained of the world and his own existence, he would start on his path to being a pre-med!!!

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Mockingbird tales: readings in animal behavior. OpenStax CNX. Jan 12, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11211/1.5
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