Tag Archives: Buck

Paradox of the Synchronous Symphony

Synchronous fireflies flare up in the news each June, just as the annual Smokies Light Show (described in Chapter 2: Lifestyles of the Stars) reaches its peak.Yet such cooperative behavior presents quite a scientific paradox!

Photo by Radim Schreiber (Radim Photo)

Synchronous fireflies in the Great Smoky Mountains

Why should thousands of males so carefully coordinate their behavior to flash in unison, all of them marching to the beat of a single drummer. According to sexual selection theory, these males should be competing fiercely  with each other for the chance to mate. So why synchronize?

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