Friday, August 2, 2013

Monogamy’s Boost to Human Evolution

 

Titi monkeys are monogamous--a way of life found in just 9 percent of mammal species.  

“Monogamy is a problem,” said Dieter Lukas of the University of Cambridge in a telephone news conference this week. As Dr. Lukas explained to reporters, he and other biologists consider monogamy an evolutionary puzzle. 

In 9 percent of all mammal species, males and females will share a common territory for more than one breeding season, and in some cases bond for life. This is a problem — a scientific one — because male mammals could theoretically have more offspring by giving up on monogamy and mating with lots of females. 

In a new study, Dr. Lukas and his colleague Tim Clutton-Brock suggest that monogamy evolves when females spread out, making it hard for a male to travel around and fend off competing males.

For the rest of the story: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/02/science/monogamys-boost-to-human-evolution.html?_r=0

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