Good-looking turkeys employ wingmen, research shows

Aug. 16, 2013 at 3:05 PM

CAMBRIDGE, England, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Male wild turkeys use their genes, and wingmen, to attract female wild turkeys, research published in the scholarly journal PLOS Generics suggests.

Dominant males with an exaggeration of male traits, such as head coloration, use those traits to attract females, as well as the help of subordinate males, who never mate but serve as wingmen to pull in females, the research shows.

Attractiveness in male turkeys is thus a function of how they use their genes rather than differences in genes, a statement Friday by PLOS Genetics, based in Cambridge, England, said.

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