Assortative mating can help explain how genetic variation for male quality is maintained even in highly polygynous species. Here, we present a longitudinal study examining how female and male ages, as well as male social dominance, affect assortative mating in fallow deer (Dama dama) over 10 years. Assortative mating could help explain the substantial proportion of females that do not mate with prime-aged, high ranking males, despite very high mating skew. We investigated the temporal pattern of female and male matings, and the relationship between female age and the age and dominance of their mates.
|Publication status||Published - 6 Apr 2011|