2nd-place horndog tortoise that helped save his species, retires (procreative sports)

#1
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/12/world...drive.html

EXCERPT: . . . In 1970, researchers began saving the Española Island tortoises. At the time, there were 14 tortoises left: 12 females and two males, according to the Galápagos Conservancy. In 1976, a third male was introduced to the tortoise restoration breeding program, Diego, who had lived at the San Diego Zoo in the United States for 30 years.

The breeding program helped increase the tortoise population to 2,000 from 15, Jorge Carrión, the director of the Galápagos National Park, said in a statement. Paternity tests indicate that Diego is responsible for about 40 percent of the offspring produced, James P. Gibbs, a professor of environmental and forest biology at the State University of New York in Syracuse, said.

“Another more reserved, less charismatic male — ‘E5’ — has generated about 60 percent,” he said. “The third male — ‘E3’ — virtually none. So Diego has been critical.”

What was it about Diego? Why did he attract so many mates and garner such international attention, especially if another male was more productive? Professor Gibbs says Diego has “a big personality — quite aggressive, active and vocal in his mating habits and so I think he has gotten most of the attention.”

“But it clearly is the other quieter male that has had much more success,” he added. “Maybe he prefers to mate more at night.” (MORE)

AUDIO VERSION:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4B9OcFpM28
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#2
Diego is making up for lost time. The 3rd turtle(E3), the one that’s taken a vow of celibacy, made me wonder if a species could go extinct if one sex loses its libido. Don’t know much about turtle personality traits but sex drive I think could perhaps be the responsibility of a gene or two? Is it possible that E3 prefers other males for company, is injured, or just too ugly for the ladies?
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#3
(Jan 13, 2020 12:52 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: Diego is making up for lost time. The 3rd turtle(E3), the one that’s taken a vow of celibacy, made me wonder if a species could go extinct if one sex loses its libido. Don’t know much about turtle personality traits but sex drive I think could perhaps be the responsibility of a gene or two?


Giant pandas, of course, are notorious for having a difficult sex drive that threatens their numbers. But a population handicapped like that (if the case) wouldn't become vulnerable till a disaster ravages it.

Speculatively, perhaps it's possible that the courting rituals of a species might develop into overly complex practices due to a change in environment or too much reproductive success. But then those behaviors becoming unnecessary and hazardous if circumstances change again. In conjunction with the selection standards of females having becoming so demanding during the EZPZ era that too few males would qualify when hard times return.

Quote:Is it possible that E3 prefers other males for company, is injured, or just too ugly for the ladies?


Maybe he was even prone to shooting blanks rather than actually low in trysts. (Didn't sound like covert E5 got recognition as a Casanova till the paternity tests.) Individual turtles can have occasional to frequent urate contaminant in their ejaculate that would diminish sperm motility in mammals (although one rogue report suggests its presence might perversely benefit tortoises in that regard).

A recent theory about Neanderthal extinction is that young females became infertile due to shortages of food.
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