A game model of female mate choice and paternal care from multiple males is presented to study the evolution of female polygamy, extrapair copulation, and the pattern of paternal care. Females choose their mates (or multiple mates) in a mating season, and in the following breeding season males invest their paternal care (or negative care-harassment), based on the likelihood of their paternity. The results show that the preference of females for monogamy or polyandry depends on how the cost increases with paternal care. The possibility of harassment (e.g., infanticide) by males with low probability of paternity may force the females to engage in extrapair copulation. Mate guarding by a dominant male can evolve to be imperfect because paternity sharing solicits paternal care or reduces harassment by subordinate males. Females should attempt to mate with a subordinate male within the constraints posed by the dominant male's guarding.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics