Monday, September 14, 2015

Bees do it, Birds do it...

...even educated fleas do it. (Don't ask me which song that is).

A new study of zebra finches might teach us something about why falling in love is important.

Zebra finches, like many birds, pair for life...but they also have affairs. Oh, and they pair up based off of individual taste, as best we can tell.

They put a bunch of birds together and let them pair up. Then they took half of them and shuffled them, forcing them into cages with random partners.

The difference?

37%. In favor of the offspring of the love matches. That is to say, they were over a third more likely to survive than hatchlings from pairs that were arranged.

The arranged pairs had less sex and paid less attention to newborns.

It doesn't apply to humans, of course...or does it? Do people have healthier children when they're with a mate they chose freely (even if those children aren't genetically the offspring of that mate)? The instinctive answer is...likely.