New research shows that when female birds mate with multiple partners, they produce genetically stronger offspring. Published Sep. 3 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the study looked into the mating practices of red junglefowl, the wild ancestor of the domestic chicken. The University of East Anglia researchers found that promiscuity maximized the female junglefowls’ chances of having offspring that are resistant to diseases.
The reason promiscuity matters here is that the sperm of various mates can remain viable inside the female. An internal mechanism called “cryptic female choice” then allows the reproductive tract to favor the sperm from males that are most genetically different from the female.
Read the full, original story here: Promiscuous birds produce genetically stronger offspring, study shows