Researchers at the Royal Society of Biological Sciences have found that mating is predominantly facilitated by an ‘extravagant’ gift which is costly to the male but intrinsically worthless to the female. By being costly to the male, the gift acts as a credible signal of his intentions or quality. At the same time, its lack of intrinsic value to the female serves to deter a "gold-digger", who has no intention of mating with the male, from accepting the gift. In this way, an economically inefficient gift enables mutually suitable partners to be matched.