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... The peacock dating game The peacock dating game

28 March 2008

Female peacocks are really not that impressed by their males' beautiful plume, according to new scientific research.

Traditionally, it has been thought that it is their colourful feathers that attract the females to them.

However, just like in the human dating game, the peacock mating game shows that the guys simply cannot just impress the girls with fancy things.

If Shania Twain was writing an anthem for peahens, it would probably go: "So you've got fancy feathers… That don't impress me much."

The study by Mariko Takahashi, a researcher at the Graduate School of Arts and Science at the University of Tokyo, has dispelled the myth that the females are turned on by the plumage.

Instead it is believed to be the peacocks' calls that attract the peahens to them.

Louise Barrett, a member of the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Central Lancashire said that female disinterest in the male plume is because it is controlled by oestrogen.

She told the Thaindian News: "It is the absence of oestrogen in the male that produces the train, rather than the presence of testosterone.

"Traits under the control of oestrogen are usually very poor indicators of phenotypic (visible physical attributes) and genotypic (DNA) condition. Accordingly, females are known to disregard oestrogen-dependent male plumage cues when choosing mates."