The Sciences

NCBI ROFL: The sea lion solution to sexual harrassment: keep fewer males around.

DiscoblogBy ncbi roflJun 1, 2011 4:00 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Sexual harassment and female gregariousness in the South American sea lion, Otaria flavescens. "Most colonial pinnipeds [fin-footed animals] form extreme clusters of breeding females that cannot be entirely explained by the distribution of sites for reproduction. Avoidance of male harassment has been postulated as an important determinant of reproductive aggregation in this group of mammals. Female gregariousness can reduce harassment by resident males by two mechanisms; directly by the 'dilution effect' or indirectly because resident males that defend large female groups are less harassing. In order to investigate the relationship between male harassment and female gregariousness in relation to the size of breeding groups, we analysed the behaviour of dominant males and their females in a breeding colony of Otaria flavescens. Females in large breeding groups received less harassment by resident males due to dilution effects and because males that defended a large group interacted less frequently with females than males with small groups."

Photo: flickr/Indrik myneur

Related content: Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Walruses are great in bed: they can sleep 14 hours! Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Penguins on treadmills. Need we say more? Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Could you solve the floating peanut task? WTF is NCBI ROFL? Read our FAQ!

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2022 Kalmbach Media Co.