Darwin-L Message Log 8:75 (April 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

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<8:75>From princeh@husc.harvard.edu  Fri Apr 22 11:08:00 1994

Date: Fri, 22 Apr 1994 11:30:23 -0400 (EDT)
From: Patricia Princehouse <princeh@husc.harvard.edu>
Subject: Re: chimps & sex
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Fri, 22 Apr 1994, JOHN LANGDON wrote:

> If females respond, is there any
> reasons to believe that they would do so on the basis of size
> rather than merely the erect state?

My impression is that, as in other Just-So stories of this type, larger and
gaudier structures are selected for because they attract more attention
visually. Distance to cervix may account for length but not necessarily
for width or color. I imagine the vervet literature addresses these issues
as it does for "hidden" estrus, etc. I'm sure you know this literature
better than I, perhaps you could give a precis or a reference.

Patricia Princehouse

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