A new study has revealed that sexual extravagance can lead to the death of an individual. Yes, as per the study the more time the male spends attracting and choosing other females, the more will be the risk of death for him. On Wednesday, the researchers of the new study revealed that the extravagant lengths that the male will go to bed a member of the opposite sex might lead to extinction of some species.
Many animals have evolved their unique way of attracting and choosing their mates, which we call sexual selections. For example, peacock uses its ecstatic tail to attract the opposite sex, stags use their grand antlers to attract their mates. Even the king of Jungle, the lion uses its bushy mane to attract and impress their opposite sex. But this latest study has found out that some creatures take this sexual selection too far and this might cost their life and put them under the dangers of extinction.
A group of American researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing the fossils of thousands of prehistoric crustaceans called ostracods. These tiny clam-shaped ostracods lived on Earth for almost 500 million years. According to the scientists, the male ostracods could be easily identified owing to their elongated shell that accommodated their big sex organs. Under this large shell, a big muscular pump is present that ejects giant sperms. This muscular pump measures nearly 20-30 percent of body length but sometimes, this can be longer than the male itself. For the research, the scientists analyzed 93 species of extinct ostracods that lived around 85 million to 65 million years ago during the late Cretaceous era.
The results showed that the ancient ostracods died out faster when the males had a bigger shell as compared to females. A bigger shell means bigger sexual organs and hence more production of sperms than required. According to the study, this large difference shell size between the genders increased the risk of extinction to ten folds. Lead author of the study Gene Hunt, a palaeontologist from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington said, “In the short term the males had an advantage, but it turns out in the long term, not so much.” So, from the study, it can be said that putting too much effort into attracting members of opposite sex for sexual reproduction can lead to the extinction of species. It is because, if a creature devotes too much energy to successful reproduction, then there is little energy left for its survival.