Why Love Matters to a Zebra Finch

sfw_emblematicpictureFemale (left) and male Zebra Finch pair. Photo: Wolfgang Forstmeier

“Love is complicated—ask anyone who’s ever been forced into an arranged marriage at the hands of mad scientists. That’s exactly what 160 Zebra Finches faced during a recent study conducted by the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, Germany—though to be fair, the scientists weren’t necessarily mad, just very curious about the role love (or “behavioral compatibility,” as they like to call it) plays in successful bird reproduction.

Zebra Finches make the perfect subjects for such an investigation, because they’re monogamous birds that often mate for life, sharing nesting and offspring rearing duties (though they’re also known to enjoy an occasional midnight rendezvous with a sultry neighboring finch). To find out how much love matters when it comes to reproduction, the researchers put single Zebra Finches in a sort of speed-dating chamber, and allowed them to select a partner at will.”

Article written by Erica Langston – Read the full article here.

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