Polygamy pays off for mice

Multiple mating - or polyandry - is beneficial for females, according to an experimental evolutionary study.

In an article published this week in Ecology Letters, Dr Renee Firman and colleagues provide the first trans-generational, empirical demonstration that multiple mating drives increased embryo viability in a vertebrate.

Dr Firman said after observing 14 generations of both polygamously-mated and monogamously-mated lines of house mice, it appeared the benefits of multiple mating outweighed the risks associated with reproduction.

“Risks associated with mating include increased likelihood of predation and disease, therefore females would need to benefit in some way from soliciting multiple partners,” Dr Firman said.

Read more at University of Western Australia