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How genetics and social games drive evolution of mating systems in mammals

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Traditional explanations for why some animals are monogamous and others are promiscuous or polygamous have focused on how the distribution and defensibility of resources (such as food, nest sites, or mates) determine whether, for example, one male can attract and defend multiple females. A new model focuses instead on social interactions driven by genetically determined behaviors, and how competition among different behavioral strategies plays out, regardless of external factors such as defensible resources.

Source: sciencedaily.com

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