Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Same-sex relationships may play an important role in evolution

Biologists claim that same-sex relationships help drive the evolution of animals' physiology, life history and social behaviour

Same-sex pair of albatross

Almost a third of Laysan albatross couples are female-female pairs that build nests and rear young together. They are more reproductively successful than unpaired females. Photograph: Eric VanderWerf/Trends in Ecology & Evolution

Birds do it. Bees probably do it. No one's sure whether educated fleas do it. What they do is have same-sex relationships and, in a new review of published research on the subject, biologists have started to consider what it might mean for the evolution of the animals in question.

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