Peacocks’ Legs, Lower Feathers & Dance Attract Peahens The Most


In the bird’s world, males are attractive looking with beautiful bright colored plumage, wings, beaks and some perform dance, makes a beautiful nest and so on, to seek attention and impress females looking for a potential mate. But exactly which features are liked by the females to choose the most eligible male for mating, is not yet understood. 

Researcher and a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue University, Jessica Yorzinski, conducted a study on peahens to understand what features in peacock attract the female the most. Peacock are birds which in order to display its long tall tail feathers with colorful eyespots, perform some amazing dance steps in front of the peahens.

Eye-tracking technology and micro camera were used for the research. To get a bird’s eye view on what is most liked and grabs attention, these gadgets were arranged in a specially made cap. She studied 12 peahens wearing this specialized cap, to understand what do they gaze when surrounded by a number of males trying to seek attention for the mating. Jessica found that the peahens were noticing lower when grading males and that the dance steps may provide an advantage to her admirer.

peahens gaze as per the eye tracking device

Yorzinski said that when the females did look at the males, surprisingly, they stare the longest at the male’s legs and the base of their giant tail feathers, and rarely looked at the upper portion of the males’ tails or their heads.

While peahens are always busy looking around for food and approaching predators, peacock’s have tough time seeking peahen’s attention. However, peacock knew what most fascinates the peahens are when peacocks perform their famous dance moves while shaking their wings and vibrate their tails. It seems that learning certain dance steps is very imperative for peacocks said Yorzinski.

Nevertheless which male wooed the male female for mating, was not evaluated during the study. The scientist hopes the finding of the study can help understand visual cognizance and avian behavior of peahens’ and thus help in protecting endangered species.

Source: Phys.Org


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