Some male mankins court females with complex air procedures – and in these species the males have evolved to be lighter for extra agility.


May 4, 2022

Male birds, which impress females with complex acrobatic movements, are usually smaller than females of the same species, probably because their reduced body size makes them more agile.

In birds, it is common for males to be larger than females, especially when there is strong competition between males for mates. Unusually, females are larger than males in some species of mannak, a family of birds that live in the rainforests of Central and South America.

Elsie Shogren at the University of Rochester in New York suspect that this difference in size may be related to their mating displays. Manakin…

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