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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | May 27, 2012

Are There Benefits To Sparrows Not Being Monogamous?

Song Sparrows have social pairs but the females often mate with other males as well.  One hypothesis  was that by mating with males outside the bonded social pair it  would increase the chances of the female’s genes being carried to future generations by mating with a male of higher genetic quality.

 New research reported in Science Daily that the opposite is trueResearchers doing a 20 year study of song sparrows found the opposite to be true. Researchers found that offspring from fathered by males outside the bonded social pair had 40 percent less offspring of their own and 30 percent less grandoffspring than offspring within the  bonded pair.

Read more at Science Daily For monogamous sparrows, it doesn’t pay to stray but they do it anyway.

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