Science Proves Facial Hair Is Sexy...On Fish

Illustration for article titled Science Proves Facial Hair Is Sexy...On Fish

Here at Kotaku, we're big proponents of facial hair, even if some of our esteemed colleagues aren't with the program yet. Now science proves that a bushy moustache does indeed make males more attractive to females. Well, female fish at least.

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Science is all about answering unanswered questions. Why is the sky blue? Why do birds suddenly appear? Why do some Mexican molly fish sport moustache-like facial appendages, while others do not?

The answer to all of these questions is simple - for the ladies. The answer might not seem like it matches the first question, but I assure you, it fits, somehow.

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And it definitely fits the third.

For years, zoologists like Professor Ingo Schlupp (best name ever) of the University of Oklahoma in Norman and his colleagues puzzled over the fact that certain male Mexican mollies (Poecilia sphenops) sported lip ornaments, while others did not.

It should have been obvious. Well, perhaps not to a man named Ingo Schlupp, but to most of us at least. Especially considering that the molly is a rare sort of fish that fertilizes eggs inside the female body, instead of spreading semen over a bed of pre-laid eggs.

These fish are lovers.

Still, science requires proof, so Professor Schlupp and associates captured more than 100 specimens of molly, both male and female, mustachioed and hairless, testing them by seeing how long the females spent with males of either variety.

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Overwhelmingly, the females preferred males with facial hair.

The researchers results are published in the Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology journal, in which one writes, ""The moustache-like structure seems to be a previously unrecognized sexually selected trait in poeciliid fishes."

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So that answers one question, but one still lingers. What about moustache rides? Oh yes, aquatic moustache rides are go.

"This is based on the general observation that males will touch the female's genital region with their mouth prior to mating," Prof Schlupp told the BBC.

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The scientists call this behavior "nipping," and believe it helps give the female more information about the male.

I'm leaving that one alone.

So there you have it. Scientific proof that facial hair is sexy. We can all rest easy now. Well, except Ashcraft and Totilo. They've got some growing to do

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Male fish in Mexico sports sexy 'moustache' [BBC]

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DISCUSSION

komrade-kayce-old
Komrade Kayce

...

Here goes nothing.

...

While I enjoy the article, and yes, many video game characters have mustaches including a certain plumber, I do believe I typed the following into my browser bar to bring me here:

kotaku.com

I did not type:

io9.com

or

discoverychannel.ca

or even

nationalgeographic.com

Now, while I am willing to lose my star over questioning the decision to have an article about mustaches on fish on Kotaku... wtf Fahey. I know you like writing science articles. I know I like reading your science articles. If you had a gawker blog that posted science articles that let you guest-write, I would read your articles at that blog.

But what in gods green earth does this have to do with video games. Even in the slightest. Is it *really* because game characters have mustaches and therefore, lets have an article about them? Game characters have skin too, and hair. Should Crecente write up an article on what conditioner is best to use for that jrpg character hair lusciousness?

Its your guys blog. Do as you wish. But if I wanted my gaming newsfeed to be a mishmash of miscellany when it comes to the sorts of stuff I'm trying to read with no real organization or categorization according to website (ie, gaming website for gaming news, xbox360achievements for xbox news), well, I might as well never leave the yahoo front page.

You started doing this a while ago. It was a slippery slope at best. Whats the harm in starting your own blog or guest columning for io9 if you want to write this kind of stuff? I'd read it, I like it.

Just not here.