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Fitness Benefits of Mate Choice for Compatibility in a Socially Monogamous Species [PLOS Biology]

Keywords : animal sexual behavior, clutches, embryos, death rates, copulation, decision making, Zebra finch, birds

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Research on mate choice has primarily focused on preferences for quality indicators, assuming that all individuals show consensus about who is the most attractive. However, in some species, mating preferences seem largely individual-specific, suggesting that they might target genetic or behavioral compatibility. Few studies have quantified the fitness consequences of allowing versus preventing such idiosyncratic mate choice. Here, we report on an experiment that controls for variation in overall partner quality and show that zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) pairs that resulted from free mate choice achieved a 37% higher reproductive success than pairs that were forced to mate.(...)

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