Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Semen Quality, Female Choice and Multiple Mating in Domestic Sheep: a Test of Trivers' Sexual Competence Hypothesis

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Behaviour

TRIVERS (1972) proposed that females may choose to mate with males of high sexual competence (the ability to supply sufficient sperm for fertilisation). This hypothesis was tested by allowing ewes in oestrus to choose between four tethered adult rams, two of high and two of low semen quality. Contrary to the hypothesis, ewes did not prefer rams of higher semen quality and, even though frequent mating can depress the fertilising ability of ram semen, the attractiveness of each ram to oestrous ewes was not lowered by frequent ejaculation. Also, in contrast to TRIVERS' suggestion, semen quality and male courtship vigour were not consistently related either between or within individual rams. Ewes mated repeatedly during oestrus, receiving nearly six ejaculates each on average, and over two thirds of ewes mated with more than one ram. Repeated mating, rather than a preference for sexually competent males, might function to ensure fertilisation in female sheep and perhaps in other ruminants.

Affiliations: 1: The Mary Marshall and Arthur Walton Laboratories, Physiological Laboratory, Cambridge, England


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation