Sunday, June 29, 2014

Parent Presence Affects Birds Choices in Mates

Same-sex mates is not only a human thing, some animals are also known to have same-sex partners, especially amongst those who stick to one mates.

A new research showed that male Zebra Finches that were raised by their father alone were more prone to have chosen a male partner. Zebra Finches actually stay together with a lifelong partner and mate with them exclusively. However, in cases where only the male specimen is left to care for their young, the young bird tends to choose another male for his lifelong partner when it grows older.
The study’s researchers looked at how mate choices for both female and male Zebra Finches that was raised without the adult female were like. Of the subjects that formed bonds with other birds, 75% of the male birds paired with another male bird. However, the study did show that this doesn’t carry over to female specimens. None of the females chose to have a same sex partner.

In the animal world, the sexual imprinting is very common. This is when a youngling learns features and behaviors from adult individuals and use what they learned when choosing their mates during adulthood.

Male zebra finches that are raised in a father-only environment choose to pair with the same sex is likely the effect of the young bird’s “imprinting" on the father bird. This gives researchers a new angle on how Zebra Finches actually choose their lifelong mates and what factors could influence them on whom to choose as a partner.

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