Hair Display Loss in Mature Male American Bison: A Temperate Zone Adaptation?
Article first published online: 26 APR 2010
1979 Blackwell Verlag GmbH
Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie
Volume 49, Issue 1, pages 71–76, January-December 1979
How to Cite
Lott, D. F. (1979), Hair Display Loss in Mature Male American Bison: A Temperate Zone Adaptation?. Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie, 49: 71–76. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0310.1979.tb00275.x
- Issue published online: 26 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 26 APR 2010
- Received: September 20, 1977 Accepted: August 77, 1978
The head hair, beard and pantaloons of mature male American bison (Bison bison) are greatly reduced after each breeding season, primarily by internal physiological events, rather than external, mechanical forces. The consequent reduction in sexual dimorphism may function to reduce post-breeding season aggression between ♂♂. Minimization of aggression at that time would facilitate adaptation to the seasonal resource scarcity characteristic of temperate zones by permitting the ♂♂ to maximize energy storage prior to the winter food shortage. This adaptive value of a disposable display may help to explain some other instances of seasonal loss of sexually dimorphic features, such as antlers in deer and horn sheaths in pronghorns.