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Polygynandry, cooperative breeding

N Seddon, W Amos, G Adcock, P Johnson, K Kraaijeveld, F J L Kraaijeveld-Smit, W Lee, G D Senapathi, R A Mulder, J A Tobias
In the first molecular study of a member of the threatened avian family, Mesitornithidae, we used nine polymorphic microsatellite loci to elucidate parentage, patterns of within-group kinship and occurrence of extra-group paternity in the subdesert mesite Monias benschi, of southwest Madagascar. We found this cooperatively breeding species to have a very fluid mating system. There was evidence of genetic monogamy and polygynandry: of the nine groups with multiple offspring, six contained one breeding pair with unrelated helpers and three contained multiple male and female breeders with related helpers...
October 2005: Molecular Ecology
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