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Science File | IN BRIEF

Serial Mating Helps Build Healthier Birds

October 18, 2003|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Despite the views of some societies, female promiscuity is not all bad and helps to create healthier offspring -- at least in birds, scientists said.

Like humans, birds are monogamous creatures that usually choose and stay with one mate to raise their young. But scientists at the Max Planck Research Center for Ornithology in Starnberg, Germany, said some female birds prefer more than one mate, to improve their chances of producing fitter young. The researchers found that when female birds were paired with young males they were more likely to be unfaithful with older or bigger males.

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