curious sexual bias in fossils

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by sculptor, Oct 24, 2021.

  1. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Late Quaternary Holarctic megafauna fossils are showing a curious sexual bias in that most @ 75% are male.
    How odd---unexpected...
    Pleistocene bison, brown bears, mammoth, all show the same bias.
    see
    https://www.pnas.org/content/116/38/19019

    curiouser and curiouser

    Your thoughts?
     
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Read the article and it is no longer curious, Dummkopf.
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Still, interesting.
     
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  7. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    If I was disappointed, it was because I expected too much.

    Perhaps, I erred in asking:
    "Your thoughts?"
     
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  8. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, very.
     
  9. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I wonder whether the same sexual imbalance is observed for hominin skeletal remains.

    Regarding the megafauna, the authors present the very plausible hypothesis that females have smaller ranges than males (this is observed in many species) so female remains might be more clustered in smaller areas. Though if that were the case, we would still expect to find more sites with abundant female remains than seem to have been found. Even given the handful of female laden sites, the sexual imbalance persists. I think that the authors' idea looks like a promising hypothesis, but it still needs more work, data and verification.

    Perhaps there's something about the sites where the females clustered that made preservation of their skeletal remains less likely or made those sites less likely to be discovered today.

    An even more radical idea is that the observed sexual imbalance in fossil discoveries accurately reflects the sex ratios at the time. I find that one unlikely, since I don't see the biological sex determination mechanisms changing on that kind of time scale and because there would seem to be evolutionary advantage in maximizing the number of reproductively fertile females. So that one just doesn't smell right.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
  10. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Yeh, the smell test (thank you for the thoughtful response)
    or "How odd---unexpected..."
    Does not seem a good means of avoiding extinction?
    Perhaps this is accurate, and, if so, is an effect of the glacial climate?
     

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