Skewed gender ratios turn bird world into a soap opera

By Sarah Zielinski, 12:23 PM March 26, 2014

It can be easy to romanticize birds. After all, some 90 percent of bird species are monogamous. And there are sweet stories like male emperor penguins that keep eggs warm and hornbills that sing duets together.

But when adult populations become dominated by one gender, all that sweetness, it seems, hides worlds of wrecked relationships and promiscuity, report AndrĂ¡s Liker of Sheffield University in England and colleagues in the April 14 Current Biology.

Liker and his team began by compiling da...

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