November 28, 2014
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Mate choice is often the most important decision in the lives of humans and animals. Scientists have found the first evidence that birds may choose their mate through odor. The researchers compared the preen gland chemicals of black-legged kittiwakes with genes that play a role in immunity. Kittiwakes that smell similarly to each other also have similar genes for immunity. Since the birds prefer to mate with unrelated mates, the scientists have now found the likely mechanism by which they recognize relatedness.