Weapon (biology)

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Weapons are traits that are used by males to fight one another off for access to mates. A mate is won in battle either by a male chasing off a fellow competitor or killing it off, usually leaving the victor as the only option for the female to reproduce with.[1] However, because stronger organisms, whether mentally or physically, are usually favored in combat, this also leads to the evolution of stronger organisms in species that use combat as a way to secure mates.[2] Examples of weapons include the antlers bucks use to fight one another off when competing for females.


  1. ^ Krebs, J. R., and Nicholas B. Davies. "Sexual Selection, Sperm Competition and Sexual Conflict." An Introduction to Behavioral Ecology. 4th ed. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications, 2012.
  2. ^ "Charles Darwin & Evolution." Charles Darwin & Evolution. Apr. 2014. <http://darwin200.christs.cam.ac.uk/pages/index.php?page_id=d4>.