Researchers believe that monogamous birds are capable of changing partners for the same reasons as humans.
A long separation or relationship on the side, as a rule, ends in divorce for human spouses. But researchers now think it’s not just our species — similar factors play a role in the separation among monogamous birds. Watchman.
It is generally accepted that about 90% of all bird species, as a rule, choose a partner and spend at least one breeding season with him, and sometimes more. However, some monogamous birds may continue to switch to another partner in the next breeding season, despite the fact that their original partner has not disappeared anywhere. Researchers call this bird behavior “divorce.”
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Note that in various studies, scientists have already tried to explain this strange behavior of birds, but most of them still focus on one particular species. Now, the researchers believe they have identified two major factors that influence divorce decisions across a wide range of birds:
- male promiscuity
- Long distance migrations.
In the new study, a team of scientists from Germany and China used previously published data on the reproductive rates of 232 bird species and compared it with data on mortality and migration distances. In addition, the scientists gave “promiscuity scores” for females and males of different species using published information about the behavior of the species. The team also performed an analysis based on the evolutionary relationships between species, which is essential to understanding common ancestry.
The results of the study indicate that species with the highest divorce scores tend to be closely related to each other. However, it turns out that this also applies to the species that have the fewest divorces. Scientists also note that a similar pattern is observed with regard to male promiscuity.
According to the study authors, plovers, swallows, orioles and blackbirds have high levels of male divorce and promiscuity. While petrels, albatrosses, geese and pelicans showed low rates of divorce and mixing of males.
According to study co-author Dr. Zetan Song of the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior in Germany found that promiscuity of males makes him less attractive to females, as his attention and resources will be shared between them. As a result, this may lead to a “divorce” next season. At the same time, scientists note that a male can significantly improve his physical condition if he mates with several females at once.
However, Song believes that promiscuity on the part of women is unlikely to lead to the same consequences. Scientists believe that uncertainty about paternity can lead to an increase in male involvement in parental care. The results also indicate that species with greater migration distances also have higher divorce rates.
Scientists believe that this may be due to the fact that after migration, pairs can reach their destination out of sync, which greatly complicates the task – the birds can mate with other partners and this will eventually lead to “divorce”.
Song and his colleagues believe that bird breeding may, in fact, be more than just a fitness-enhancing strategy or a response to environmental factors such as migration. Scientists believe that promiscuity in this case plays an equally important role.
previously to focus He wrote that scientists have found a bird with white plumage in the world.
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