We tend to think of evolution as the accumulation of practical adaptations through the process of natural selection—the so-called “survival of the fittest.” So how do elaborate characteristics of the birds-of-paradise fit in to our understanding of evolution? It turns out that sexual selection, the so-called “survival of the sexiest,” can be just as strong an evolutionary force.

In this illustrated video you’ll explore how natural and sexual selection can shape the way animals look and act, sometimes transforming the drab into the magnificent.

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