Monday, September 14, 2015

"New study asks why birds fall in love"

Zebra finch females are finicky about men — and if they don't get their way, their offspring will suffer. (Maurice van Bruggen via Wikimedia Commons)  
"Humans are constantly trying to figure out what love is all about — and not just for their own emotional wellbeing. The question of why monogamy exists (and whether it should be humanity's default) is ongoing. In one new study, researchers focused on a socially monogamous bird — the zebra finch — to determine just how important monogamy was for the success of the species.

"The study, published Monday in PLOS Biology, put male and female zebra finches into a room and let them pair up.

"Now let's pause for a second and point out some similarities between humans and zebra finches. Like many humans, zebra finches pair up socially for life. In other words, they form 'marriages' based on child rearing, and they'll stick to one of those forever.

"[Is cheating more ‘natural’ for humans than staying monogamous? It’s complicated.]
"But like humans, that doesn't necessarily mean they're sexually monogamous. Both male and female zebra finches are known to seek out sex elsewhere, to varying degrees."
Dirty birdy. 

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