Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Theories Contradict On Animal Reasons For Monogamy

WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. scientists have published competing theories for why some animals are monogamous and some are not: convenience or protecting offspring.

The answers to one of nature’s most vexing questions is a difficult one since scientists can’t see hard evidence of when and how certain species developed monogamous behaviors. That leaves them to study current mating and rearing habits and use mathematical equations to extrapolate how and when they began.

The two studies, one published in the journal Science and the other in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offer differing hypotheses.

In Science, researchers suggest monogamy was an offshoot born of convenience for males mating with multiple females who lived great distances from one another. In the NAS study, scientists suggest males took a single female as a means to protect their offspring from competing males that might see it as a hurdle to mating with the female and try to kill the young animals, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

A third leading theory is that males mated exclusively with one female to prevent infanticide.

Birds are the animals most likely to live in monogamous relationships. Only 9 percent of mammals are monogamous. Among primates, the group that includes humans, 29 percent of species are monogamous.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Theories Contradict On Animal Reasons For Monogamy”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.