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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 16:09 EDT

Latest Michael Magrath Stories

2009-05-14 14:50:07

A new study has revealed that mother birds can provide an early advantage to the chicks that they have sired with their non-social partner (known as extra-pair offspring).It has long been known that female birds commonly mate with males other than their social partner, producing broods of mixed paternity in which the interloper's "Ëœextra pair' offspring often outperform their half brothers and sisters. While the superiority of these extra-pair offspring has generally been...

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2009-05-01 09:16:58

When female birds mate with males other than their social partners and have broods of mixed paternity, the offspring sired by these "extra-pair" fathers may often get a head start in life, according to a new report published online on April 30th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication. The discovery adds fuel to the debate about why some female birds seek those extra mates in the first place. "A diverse range of explanations have been proposed to account for female participation in...