Endocrine-Immune Interactions, Ornaments and Mate Choice in Red Jungle Fowl

Marlene Zuk, Torgeir S. Johnsen, Troy Maclarty

Abstract

Consistently with previous studies, female red jungle fowl (Gallus gallus) preferred to mate with males with longer, redder combs, but paid little attention to plumage characters. Individual variation in comb length was positively correlated with plasma testosterone level. Males with longer combs had fewer circulating lymphocytes, as would be expected if maintenance of secondary sexual characters is costly to the immune system.