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Monday, November 23, 2009

Australasian gannets not so monogamous after all...

Australasian Gannets not so monogamous after all...

An Auckland University researcher has found "monogamous" gannets actually have a break-up rate similar to humans.

Australasian gannets once thought to pair-bond for life have a divorce rate similar to humans.

Steffi Ismar from Auckland University says it has always been assumed the birds are monogamous, and they have been held up as an example of fidelity for humans, however, her research shows that the divorce rate from one breeding season to the next is around 40 percent.

Ms Ismar says the novelty of this finding may say as much about how humans view the world as about the birds themselves.

"In the past people have projected their values onto other species and assumed that some species form lifelong partnerships, but as our society has become more liberal our approach to research has changed and we are starting to challenge some of these assumptions."

The study also showed that individuals who divorced and found a new mate were less likely to successfully raise a chick in their first breeding season compared with those who kept the previous year's partner.

Ms Ismar says this may be due to the common phenomenon of breeding failure in newly-formed couples, followed by success at subsequent attempts, amongst species that require teamwork to raise their young.

She says data from the upcoming breeding season and further analyses will give further insight into why pairs separate, whether the same individuals repeatedly divorce, and whether new pairs really do have greater breeding success in their second year.

Acknowledgemnts: NZCity, NewsTalkZB

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At November 30, 2009 at 4:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At December 1, 2009 at 11:39 PM , Anonymous John at Cell Phone Recycling said...

This blog is pretty interesting. The break-up issue really did surprise me a lot. I mean, an animal gets hurt as well, but not in a way like that.


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