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Sperm Competition and Sexual Selection - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780121005436, 9780080541594

Sperm Competition and Sexual Selection

1st Edition

Editors: Tim Birkhead Anders Møller
Paperback ISBN: 9780121005436
eBook ISBN: 9780080541594
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 12th August 1998
Page Count: 826
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Sperm Competition and Sexual Selection presents the intricate ways in which sperm compete to fertilize eggs and how this has prompted reinterpretations of breeding behavior. This book provides a theoretical framework for the study of sperm competition, which is a central part of sexual selection. It also discusses the roles of females and the relationships between paternal care in sperm competition. The chapters focusing on taxonomic development are diverse and cover all the major animal groups, both vertebrate and invertebrate, and plants. The final chapter provides an overview discussing the relationship between sperm competition and sexual selection in terms of both function and mechanism and how these translate into species fitness. This book will be of prime interest to behaviorists, ecologists and evolutionary biologists, suggesting new avenues of research and new ways of approaching old problems.

Key Features

  • The only up-to-date summary of a central and popular subject
  • Well known editors and authors
  • Provides a theoretical framework for the study of sperm competition
  • Covers all major animal groups
  • Includes a chapter on plants


Advanced student and research behavioral ecologists and evolutionary biologists. Reproductive anatomists and physiologists.

Table of Contents

General Themes: G.A. Parker, Sperm Competition and the Evolution of Ejaculates: Towards a Theory Base. A.P. Moller, Sperm Competition and Sexual Selection. W.G. Eberhard, Female Roles in Sperm Competition. J. Wright, Paternity and Paternal Care. Taxonomic Treatments: L.F. Delph and K. Havens, Pollen Competition in Flowering Plants. D.R. Levitan, Sperm Limitation, Gamete Competition and Sexual Selection in External Fertilizers. N.K. Michiels, Mating Conflicts and Sperm Competition in Simultaneous Hermaphrodites. B. Baur, Sperm Competition in Molluscs. M.A. Elgar, Sperm Competition and Sexual Selection in Spiders and Other Arachnids. L.W. Simmons and M.T. Siva-Jothy, Sperm Competition in Insects: Mechanisms and the Potential for Selection. C.W. Petersen and R.R. Warner, Sperm Competition in Fishes. T.R. Halliday, Sperm Competition in Amphibians. M. Olsson and T. Madsen, Sexual Selection and Sperm Competition in Reptiles. T.R. Birkhead, Sperm Competition in Birds: Mechanisms and Function. D.A. Taggart, W.G. Breed, P.D. Temple-Smith, A. Purvis, and G. Shimmin, Reproduction, Mating Strategies and Sperm Competition in Marsupials and Monotremes. M. Gomendio, A.H. Harcourt, and E.R.S. Roldan, Sperm Competition in Mammals. T.R. Birkhead and A.P. Moller, Sperm Competition, Sexual Selection and Different Routes to Fitness. Index.


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1998
12th August 1998
Academic Press
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Editors

Tim Birkhead

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Sheffield, UK

Anders Møller

Affiliations and Expertise

Laboratoire d'Ecologie, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France


"Overall this volume is a marvellous summary of the current state of the field, and importantly for students and newcomers to this area of study, also contains a wealth of suggestions for relevant future research. It is well organized, and highly readable." --D.J. Hosken in ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR (1999)

" exceptional resource: an encapsulation of diversity, and in most cases a state of the art synthesis. This book will be heavily consulted by biologists at the cutting edge of research in this field, but at the same time can be read and enjoyed by anyone with even a passing interest in how evolution shapes animal diversity. There seems little doubt that it will become a new bible for students of sperm competition." --Ben Sheldon in IBIS (1999)

" main reaction is to praise the immense achievement. Two of the chapters ... are expert minibooks in themselves. The book contains large appendices and tables of data; background reproductive physiology made intelligible for behavioural ecologists; intelligent suggestions for future research; and original analyses which have not been published elsewhere. It is a one-stop first-step guide for anyone wishing to understand, add to, subtract from (critically), or multiply (synthetically) research on sperm competition, and should be compulsory equipment in any lab that works on sexual selection." --Mark Ridley in NATURE

"A major success of Birkhead & Moller's book Sperm Competition and Sexual Selection is to have captured something of the excitement being generated by advances in understanding the evolutionary significance of sperm competition. essential reference text for anyone with more than a passing interest in sexual selection or reproduction." —HEREDITY

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