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Rules of attraction: Catching a peahen's eye

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Getting the undivided attention of a female is tough at the best of times but it's even harder when surrounded by other male suitors. It's no wonder males often resort to ostentatious displays to distinguish themselves from the crowd, and nowhere is this clearer than in peacocks. Sexual selection has driven the evolution of their showy iridescent trains, whose main purpose is to attract females. But what is it about this train of colourful feathers that attracts peahens? Is it the characteristic eyespots or perhaps the green scale-like feathers?


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