Ogling at 'sexy' males leads to healthier chicks: Study

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Washington, June 30 (ANI): Watching an attractive male makes birds more fertile, and leads to healthier chicks, as per a new study.

The find could be based in the phenomenon of mating displays, and if right - could lead to better breeding programs, especially for rare birds.

Scientists studied the mating success of the Houbara bustard - male Houbara bustards run in circles as they throw back their heads to reveal white throat feathers, and the healthier they are, the more they can run.

The experiment revealed that females that had watched the healthier males dance laid eggs containing about twice as much of the growth hormone testosterone as the eggs laid by females that watched inferior dances or no dances at all.

In addition, more of the eggs laid by stimulated females hatched into chicks than those laid by the other two groups.

Even more surprisingly, even if a female that had watched a high-quality dance was inseminated with low-quality sperm, the resulting eggs had more testosterone.

"If these chicks are released into the wild, their probability of survival should be much higher than normally bred [captive] chicks," National Geographic News quoted Dirk Schmeller, a biologist at the Station d'Ecologie Experimentale du CNRS in Moulis, France.

Findings of the study were published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. (ANI)

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