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By by J. E. Webb and J. H. Elgood.

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N"Ic.. co Figure 2,3 The great-call of the female pileated gibbon (Hylobates pi/eatus) showing duetting by the male partner. The positions of male calls are indicated by arrows. The male contribution usually consists of alternating high and low notes beginning during the middle of the female's great-call, and followed or interrupted by a short 'bubbling' phase about Is long, which here contains 10 notes given at a speed of close to 10 notes per second (bottom section of sonagram). (Sonagram W.

Two factors influence a female's sexual strategy, firstly her heavy parental investment and secondly the fact that she needs only one male to fertilize her and father a particular litter of young. The most significant way in which a female mammal can influence the fitness of her offspring, on theoretical grounds at least, is through careful selection of the father (see Bateson, 1983). It is hard to imagine a mechanism whereby a female could directly measure the fitness of a prospective mate, but some attributes may be reliable indicators of male quality.

In common marmosets Abbott and Hearn (1978) found that, in a subadult group of two males and two females, only one of the females subsequently bred and the subordinate female failed to show reproductive cycles. In this species, therefore, a physiological block to breeding appears to operate. In polygynous species there may be more than one sexual strategy available to the male to maximize his reproductive output. Male waterbucks (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) are territorial, with exclusive mating access to a group of females living within their territory.

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