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Swans are symbols of monogamy and faithfulness, but do they really live up to this ideal?  In this study we used DNA paternity tests to find out about the mating patterns of male and female swans.  We discovered that on average one in six cygnets (15%) results from a matings between either the male or female, and a bird other than their partner.  These values are unexpectedly high compared to other waterbirds.

KRAAIJEVELD, K., CAREW, P.J., BILLING, T., ADCOCK, G.J. & MULDER, R.A. (2004). Extra-pair paternity does not result in differential sexual selection in the mutually ornamented black swan (Cygnus atratus). Molecular Ecology 13:1625-1633.

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Did you know?

An adult male swan is called a cob (from Middle English cobbe (leader of a group). An adult female swan is called a pen, and baby swans are called cygnets (from the Latin word cygnus ("swan") and the Old French suffix -et ("little").
2015-05-11T02:20:03+00:00
An adult male swan is called a cob (from Middle English cobbe (leader of a group). An adult female swan is called a pen, and baby swans are called cygnets (from the Latin word cygnus ("swan") and the Old French suffix -et ("little").

The Black Swan is protected under the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Act, 1974. It is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
2015-05-11T02:23:39+00:00
The Black Swan is protected under the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Act, 1974. It is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

A colony of Black Swans in Dawlish, Devon has become so well associated with the town that the bird has been the town's emblem for
2015-05-11T02:23:29+00:00
A colony of Black Swans in Dawlish, Devon has become so well associated with the town that the bird has been the town's emblem for

The current global population of black swans is estimated to be up to 500,000 individuals.
2015-05-11T02:23:19+00:00
The current global population of black swans is estimated to be up to 500,000 individuals.

Black swans occur over large parts of Australia, with estimates of their range varying from 1 to 10 million square kilometers.
2015-05-11T02:23:10+00:00
Black swans occur over large parts of Australia, with estimates of their range varying from 1 to 10 million square kilometers.