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Gouldian Finch Infidelity – Cheating to Acquire Better Genes

Gouldian FinchesRecent studies of the Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae), an endangered species and popular pet, have revealed that females readily copulate with males other than their mates in order to ensure that the young acquire the best possible genes.

Risky Behavior

Working with finches in captivity and in their natural habitat (Northeastern Australia), researchers at Australia’s Macquarie University found that paired females will indiscriminately cheat on their mates when given the opportunity.  This behavior puzzled he researchers since, if discovered, the females risked abandonment by their mates and would likely be unable to raise their chicks alone. Read More »

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