It is only one small evolutionary step from rampant illegitimacy to virtual monogamy
Fairy-wrens are notorious for their infidelity: despite living in seemingly harmonious monogamous pairs, females produce mostly illegitimate young, and males spend more time courting other females than their own partner. Among these promiscuous birds, researchers have now found a uniquely faithful species, the purple-crowned fairy-wren. What's more, males of this species have lost all striking adaptations for extra-pair mating that characterise the other fairy-wrens, including presentation of flower petals during courtship displays. This is surprising as the social mating system and potential costs and benefits of extra-pair mating appear similar to other fairy-wrens. This implicates that extra-pair paternity as an evolutionary strategy is rather labile and can change much faster than previously assumed.
Lees meer ... Max Planck Society
Faithful males do not bring flowers
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