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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