It’s an age-old trick men use when one guy helps the other pick up women. And apparently wingmen make such a difference, another species has picked up the habit. (Via Paramount Pictures)
According to a new study, male wild turkeys use wingmen to find a mate, and in the end, only one gets lucky. (Via Science World Report)
But the odd thing researchers found is the animals seem genetically wired to be the wingman or the one who gets the girl. (Via National Geographic)
All winter, the male turkeys duke it out to decide who will come out on top and become the guy in charge.
The dominant males develop bright red coloring on their heads, while the more subordinate males remain subdued. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Lupin)
They don’t compete for girls, but instead all the work is put in an effort to help the dominant males. The two, which are often brothers, work together to find females. The wingman will then lure the prospective mate to the dominant male.
The research found genes play a big role when it comes to which males will be the subordinates. In the wingman, masculine activity begins to decrease, and they take on more feminine genes, making no attempt to mate with the females. (Via The Telegraph)
These are findings that Slate points out could put a point in the middle between male and female.
“The study could have implications for research on sex in animals with the study’s authors asserting that the traditional male-female gender binary might in reality be more of a spectrum.”
The study’s researchers hope to soon be able to tell if the genetic differences are the reason for the head-color changes and other masculine characteristics.