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What can you learn from a estrous swelling?

Author: Courtney Fitzpatrick



Although females of many taxa display sexual signals as they become ready to be fertilized, little is known about what other types information, if any, may be contained in those signals. Female baboons display one of the most conspicuous signals of fertility in the animal world; exaggerated estrous swellings. These swellings appear on the animal’s hind end during the follicular phase of the sexual cycle, are largest around the period of ovulation, and quickly disappear during the luteal phase. By characterizing several different sources of variance in swelling size, our new study reveals the potential information content in this charismatic trait. Read More