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Anisogamy, chance and the evolution of sex roles

Summary: Anisogamy, chance and the evolution
of sex roles
Lukas Scha¨rer1
, Locke Rowe2
and Go¨ ran Arnqvist3
Evolutionary Biology, Zoological Institute, University of Basel, Vesalgasse 1, CH-4051 Basel, Switzerland
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, 25 Willcocks St., Toronto, Ont, M5S 3G5, Canada
Animal Ecology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Evolutionary Biology Centre, University of Uppsala, Norbyva¨gen 18d,
SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden
Recently, several authors have challenged the view that
anisogamy, the defining feature of the sexes, is an impor-
tant determinant of the evolution of sex roles. Sex roles
are instead suggested to result from chance, or from non-
heritable differences in life histories of females and males.
Here, we take issue with these ideas. We note that ran-
dom processes alone cannot cause consistent differences
between the sexes, and that those differences between


Source: Arnqvist, Göran - Department of Animal Ecology, Uppsala Universitet
Schärer, Lukas - Zoologisches Institut, Universität Basel


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology