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In some species, smaller males may actually be associated with higher lifetime reproductive success (Anholt, 1991; Carchini et al.
Long said: "We found that when harmful courtship behaviours were directed predominantly toward larger females of greater fecundity potential -- and away from smaller females, of lesser fecundity potential -- this resulted in an overall reduction in the variation of lifetime reproductive success of females in the population.
These studies did not report on the lifespan or lifetime reproductive success of Ospreys.
A more likely explanation perhaps," he says, "is that parasites increase their lifetime reproductive success by reducing the costs of parental care.