The differences in appearance between males and females of the same species, as in colour, shape, size, and structure, that are caused by the inheritance of one or the other sexual pattern in the genetic material.The most common example of sexual dimorphism is, of course, that of the peacock and peahen:
Sexual dimorphism exists in humans as well:
But here, I would like to draw your attention to a less well-known instance of sexual dimorphism: that found in cop cars.
Like many other mammals and birds, the male cop car is larger, stronger, and more brightly colored than the female cop car. Cop cars are a social species, and the distribution of tasks in the species is segregated along sexual lines, reflecting functional differences resulting from their strong dimorphism. Male cop cars perform tasks involving intimidation, overwhelming force, and coordinated aggression on the part of multiple cars. Female cop cars perform "stealth tasks," in which camouflage, subtlety, and surprise are more important than the ability to physically overwhelm an opponent.
When the layperson pictures a cop car, he or she is generally thinking of a male cop car, as in the instance of peacocks and peahens. Even so, a significant difference between male cop car displays remains poorly understood by the general public:
The mating display is more varied in color and flash-pattern than the aggression display. Many people, stumbling on a male cop car performing a mating display, confuse it with an aggression display and react accordingly. This can rapidly turn an opportunity to witness a beautiful cop car mating ritual into an unfortunate interspecies confrontation.
A second confusion is also common: confusing an aggression display related to a "duel" between two would-be alpha bulls, for the predator-prey aggression display which cop cars perform for civilians. For safety's sake, when you see a male cop car performing a display, run through this mental checklist:
1. Are you sure this is an aggression display and not a mating display?
2. If it is an aggression display, is a second male cop car of comparable size and age present and also performing an aggression display?
3. If so, are the cars facing each other? In this case, you are almost certainly lucky enough to be witnessing a "duel" to determine leadership of a clan of cop cars. However, if the two cars are facing you, then they have probably identified you as the natural prey of the cop car.
Only when you have run through this checklist, and come to the certain conclusion that you have been targeted by one or more aggressive male cop cars, should you review the ordinary list of options available in such a situation:
3. Fighting the law.
You will want to make your selection based on the specifics of your situation.