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why are some animals monogamous

Brigit Katz is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Love for Life? And time and again, the researchers observed the same thing happening in the brain tissue of animals that maintained a monogamous lifestyle. Monogamy--a bond between two partners of opposite sex--is a relatively rare phenomenon in mammals (3-5%, from a total of 4000 mammalian species). Take male fruit flies. Despite this finding, the researchers of the second study are not too convinced that humans are completely monogamous. Due to this risk, the researchers believe these primate males switched from being focused on expanding their genetic pool by impregnating numerous females to the need of protecting their young. Stressed Out? About us | Privacy Policy | Stay connected Facebook Twitter Google Plus RSS, Get the Most Popular Stories in a Weekly Newsletter. In the first research study, the team looked at over 230 different primate species through generations. Smithsonian Institution, The related species diverged from each other over the course of 450 million years. The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looked at gene expression in the brain tissue of five monogamous male animals, and compared it to the gene expression in male brains of five closely-related, but non-monogamous species. They reasoned that males ended up picking one mate that they could confidently say was pregnant with their offspring because of a lack of resources. More specifically, the researchers observed heightened activity in genes involved in neural development, communication between cells, learning and memory, among other functions, according to the study authors. The researchers concluded that over time, men decided to stick with one female mate in order to prevent other unrelated males from killing their offspring. Two new studies provided two viable explanations as to why certain animals are monogamous. Advertising Notice Although the main focus of this review is monogamy shown by both sexes (mutual monogamy), monogamy shown by one sex (monogyny or monandry) is also included when relevant. Scientists Identify Gene Pattern That Makes Some Animals Monogamous A new study has found that 24 genes show similar activity in the brain tissue of five species that stick with one mate at a time. Keep up-to-date on: © 2020 Smithsonian Magazine. Their study was published in the journal, Science. Vote Now! We at Lightning Rod noticed a couple of interesting new scientific papers on the evolution of monogamy. Understanding why some animals mate with one partner rather than several for a single breeding event is as intriguing as understanding why others form lifelong pair‐bonds. What Republicans Don't Want You To Know About Obamacare. This is associated, usually implicitly, with sexual monogamy. In fact … At this point, experts can’t say, but Hofmann tells Servick that the researchers “certainly would speculate” that we do. The same goes for gardening. Why Some Ocean Animals (Sort Of) Mate For Life A look at the mating systems of some monogamous ocean animals show that finding life partners helps species protect themselves and their young The team identified 24 genes that consistently increased or decreased in activity among species that formed pair bonds. Opie's study was published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Answer: Noah took two of every kind of animal into the ark, right? So, for instance, the team studied both monogamous California mice and non-monogamous deer mice, according to the Guardian’s Ian Sample. Due to the concept that monogamy might not be a natural process since most animals are focused on reproducing as many offspring as possible, studying why monogamy occurs in these select animals can be very enlightening. “It seems to me unlikely that by themselves these genes will be able to ‘explain’ this behavior,” Claudio Mello of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, who was not involved in the study, tells Science’s Servick. Will Moving to the Suburbs Help Your Mental Health? The research team composed of Dieter Lukas and Tim Clutton-Brock from Cambridge University looked at around 2,500 mammals. Genes regulating, That said, monogamy is a complex behavior that is propelled by a variety of factors—like the need to, Do we humans, whose predilection for monogamy has been a subject of. Some 90 percent of birds are socially monogamous, but that doesn't mean they're completely faithful to one mate. 17th Annual Photo Contest Finalists Announced. But in the long run, you'll know that it is a lifetime commitment. Barn owls, however, put all … In some cases, there is a fairly straightforward evolutionary reason why animals engage in homosexual behaviour. Since females cannot reproduce right after birth due to the fact that they need to nurse their offspring, other males will murder the newborns in order to speed up the process of reproduction with the female.

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