A New Look at Monogamy

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Science  25 Sep 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5385, pp. 1982-1983
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5385.1982

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Social monogamy, in which parents cooperate to raise their brood, is relatively common among animals--but true sexual fidelity is hard to find. Recent research has shown that in many species, females once thought to be monogamous bear offspring with different fathers. Even when social bonds are strong, extrapair matings apparently offer evolutionary advantages for both females and males.