The Bird That Does Unbelievable Impressions of Chainsaws, Car Alarms



Charles Darwin hated the peacock — hated it — at one point writing that he was simply sickened by its ostentatious feathers. He couldn’t for the life of him figure out why a creature would essentially beg to be hunted, seemingly in wanton disregard of his new theory of evolution, which is about the survival (not the evisceration) of the fittest.

The answer, Darwin eventually realized, is the principle of sexual selection. With its glorious plumage, the peacock is essentially saying to the peahen, “I’m healthy, and also I might have a bit of an ego problem.” It’s a drive so strong that it outweighs the risk of predation and justifies the tremendous energy the peacock puts into growing the feathers, not to mention lugging them around.

 
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