Darwin hypothesized that the only reason males of a species would have such impractical adornments as the peacock’s unwieldy tail feathers is to attract females. Likewise, the stag’s antlers fought for the attention of and access to potential mates. Both of these theories seemed to be powerfully vindicated by Angust Bateman’s 1948 study with fruit flies, which cemented sexual selection as the foundation for mating research.
Now, researchers have replicated Bateman’s experiments, which followed the surviving traits of fruit flies bred with specific characteristics such as tiny wings or shriveled heads, and found Bateman had overlooked some important issues, leading him to skew the results.
Read more at The Scientist