Dramatic fighting by male cuttlefish for a female mate

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Title
Dramatic fighting by male cuttlefish for a female mate
Contributors
Akkaynak, Derya (creator)
Allen, Justine J. (creator)
Doi
10.7301/Z0PR7SX4
Date Created
2011-05-02
Abstract
Male cuttlefish compete for females with a repertoire of visually dramatic behaviors. Laboratory experiments have explored this system in Sepia officinalis but corroborative field data have eluded collection attempts by many researchers. While SCUBA diving in Turkey, we fortuitously filmed an intense sequence of consort/intruder behaviors in which the consort lost then regained his female mate from the intruder. These agonistic bouts escalated in stages, leading to fast dramatic expression of the elaborate Intense Zebra Display and culminating in biting and inking as the intruder male attempted a forced copulation of the female. When analyzed in the context of game theory, the patterns of fighting behavior were more consistent with mutual assessment than self assessment of fighting ability. Additional observations of these behaviors in nature are needed to conclusively determine which models best represent conflict resolution, but our field observations agree with laboratory findings and provide a valuable perspective.
Keywords
Sepia officinalis
Agonistic behavior in animals
Cephalopoda
Behavior
Sexual selection
Evolutionary game theory
Notes
Funded by National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (to JJ Allen); ONR grant #N0001406-1-0202 and support from the Sholley Foundation to Roger Hanlon, PhD
Recorded afternoon of May 2, 2011
Extent
1 FlipCam video (02:48)
Access Conditions
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Citation

Akkaynak, Derya, and Allen, Justine J., "Dramatic fighting by male cuttlefish for a female mate" (2011). Data for Publications. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://doi.org/10.7301/Z0PR7SX4

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