In the wild, male house finches (Carpodus mexicanus) vary considerably in the amount of red pigmentation in their head and throat feathers, with colors ranging from pale yellow to bright red. These colors come from carotenoid pigments that are found in the birds’ diets; no vertebrates are known to synthesize carotenoid pigments. Thus, the brighter red the male’s feathers are, the more successful he has been at acquiring the red carotenoid pigment by his food-gathering efforts (all other factors being equal).During breeding season, one should expect female house finches to prefer to mate with males with the brightest red feathers. Which of the following most completely describes the sort of evolutionary change that would occur in this situation?
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