Thursday, April 5, 2012
BBC News about Monogamous
Monogamous animals partner up with a single mate, sometimes for the duration of a breeding season and less commonly over multiple seasons and years. Monogamy has particular advantages, and is often the chosen strategy where young are more vulnerable and require both parents for protection and feeding.
In serial monogamy, having different partners each season helps maintain genetic diversity. First, they may actually engage in serial monogamy, bonding with a mate for one mating season, but choosing a different mate in a subsequent season. Second, many seemingly monogamous pairings are often subject to infidelities, or extrapair copulations.
While over 90% of bird species appear to be monogamous, genetic studies show that in most populations at least a few offspring in each generation result from matings with partners other than a pair member.