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p. 162. Mating systems, or who goes with whom, and for how longlocked

  • Leigh W. Simmons


‘Mating systems, or who goes with whom, and for how long’ examines the variation in how males and females associate during the breeding season, ranging from brief couplings with multiple partners to lifelong monogamy. It also shows how the discovery that females mate with many partners, even in supposedly monogamous species such as songbirds, was made possible by modern genetic techniques. Variation in mating systems holds considerable implications for the operation of sexual selection. The way that animal mating systems have been explained historically is outlined before considering how a more contemporary understanding of genetic and social relationships has reshaped our thinking and how understanding a species’ mating system can have practical applications.

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