Male turkey attractiveness is all in the gene expression

For male wild turkeys, reproduction is an all-family effort. Less attractive males often don’t get to mate, but they’re still driven to ensure their genetic material is passed on. So they help their brightly colored, dominant brothers seduce hens in a process called, rather coyly, “cooperative courtship.”

The dominant males are more ornate, with more of the masculine traits that make the lady turkeys swoon: brightly colored heads and longer snoods (the reddish flesh that hangs over a turkey’s beak). But if the subordinate turkey brothers are genetically pretty similar, what makes one more attractive than the other? According to a study in PLOS Genetics, it’s not the genes that matter, it’s how they’re expressed.

Read the full, original story here: Why Some Male Turkeys Are So Damned Sexy

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