Bigger is better
A scientific study has found that bigger is indeed better - in the world of the swordtail fish at any rate.
Researchers investigating the mating habits of the native north and central American fish found that the females mature more rapidly if they see a male with a big tail.
They also noticed that young males develop more slowly when a more mature male is in the vicinity, waiting until there is less competition for female attention.
Craig Walling, a researcher at Exeter University's school of biosciences, said that the study represented the first evidence that a species adjusts its rate of sexual maturation in response to visible stimuli.
"We were really surprised to find that visual cues can have such an effect on sexual maturation, which is so important to an individual's reproductive success," he revealed.
And it might not only be fish that react in this way.
"While our study focussed on green swordtail fish, it seems unlikely that this attribute is limited to this one species," the researcher added.
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