Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Revealed, the secret life of gay birds who are 'attached and faithful' for life


Comfortable together: A study showed zebra finches sang to and preened each other just like heterosexual pairs.

Birds can have gay relationships that last for life, say researchers.

They found that if isolated from the opposite sex, same sex birds will pair off with each other.

The scientists studied young zebra finches, which are known for forming lifelong relationships.

Best mates: In captivity, there have been cases of male penguins forming long-term bonds

When raised in same-sex groups, more than half the birds paired up together. When females were then brought into the male group, five out of eight pairs of males ignored them and stuck with their male partner.

As in their relationships with the opposite sex, they were found to be as 'attached and faithful', perching side by side, nesting together and greeting each other by nuzzling each other's beaks.

Lead author Dr Julie Elie, from the University of California, Berkeley, said: 'Relationships in animals can be more complicated than just a male and a female who meet and reproduce.

'My observations of [them] led me to this surprising result: same-sex individuals would also interact... like male-female pairs.'

'A pair-bond in socially monogamous species represents a cooperative partnership that may give advantages for survival,' Dr Elie continued.

'Finding a social partner, whatever its sex, could be a priority.'

source: dailymail

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