http://www.scientificamerican.com/slide ... monogamous
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The doe-eyed does of these dainty African antelope seem to be able to hook their mate's heart for the long haul. Kirk's Dik-dik (Madoqua kirkii) roam in tightly bonded pairs and rarely stray from one another, socially or sexually. Researchers have suggested that a male might stick around to cover his mate's female scent, thereby reducing the likelihood other males will sniff her out. And although the male does not pick up many of the parenting duties, the female seems to be uninterested in mating with fellas other than her mate.
Despite its inauspicious name, the convict cichlid (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) fish is quite a considerate mate and parent. This freshwater fish pairs off with a mate in a crevasse they can call their own. Once the female lays eggs, they spend time fanning them and keeping potential predators at bay. And when the larvae hatch, the two parents share the burden of keep tabs on them. If any wander off, the parents suck them into their mouths and spit them back out in the safety of the home cave.
The small, burrowing prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) is practically a paragon of faithfulness—at least enough so for scientists to use them as models of monogamy in the lab. Once these voles have paired up, they share parenting duties, groom one another and generally appear quite cuddly. One study found that when committed males were tempted with "unfamiliar, virgin females" in the wild, fewer than 10 percent of them succumbed. Even after a partner died, fewer than 20 percent went off to find themselves another mate.
The stately sandhill crane (Grus canadensis) has long been a symbol of mate-for-life monogamy. Pairs can be heard "unison calling" together: they stand close and "kar-roo" out similar, synchronized notes, which is thought to be a bonding activity. During their massive breeding-ground migration in the early spring, single cranes—those who are young or have lost a mate—perform elaborate mating dances. Side flings, however, are not unknown. A rare "extra-pair copulation event" (as researchers so romantically put it) was reported in 2006; its noteworthiness, though, says something about these birds' track record for fidelity.
The shingleback skink (Tiliqua rugosa) is an armored lizard that usually pairs off with the same mate each season to make some little lizard babies. The female gives birth to live young, and the male sticks around to keep watch for danger. In one study, which observed the lizards for one to five years, only 18 percent of tracked males mated with a female that was not his mate over the course of the observations.
These ominous birds (Coragyps atratus) seem to be deeply serious about their chosen mates. The two hang out together year-round and share parenting duties, creating a close-knit familial unit. Genetic testing of offspring in 16 different vulture families found no evidence of any extra-pair fooling around. "The complex social behavior of black vultures may eliminate the opportunity," the researchers behind the genetics study noted.
The California mouse's scientific name—Peromyscus californicus—might make it sound a little, well, promiscuous. But science saysthey are actually pretty strictly committed. A genetic test of 28 families over two years found that babies did, indeed, come from the father of each nest. The mice were apparently quite eager to keep it all in the family, as DNA testing even picked up one brother–sister pairing.
Albatrosses are famous both for their flirtatiousness—taking the form of ritualized mating dances—and for their fidelity. Most settle down with a single mate for life, which can mean decades. But not all the males are entirely faithful. For the waved albatross (Phoebastria irrorata), genetic testing of offspring has revealed that a quarter of them had different dads. For the wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans), only about one in 10 chicks were sired by different sirs— (which suggests perhaps they should trade species names).
Malagasy giant rat
These big-eared rodents are hardly sneaky when it comes to love. Malagasy giant rats (Hypogeomys antimena), which reside in a small area of Madagascar, are one of the few monogamous rodent species out there. Both parents stick around to raise the young. If one mate dies, the other will find a replacement, with widows often waiting at home in the burrow until a new suitor comes along.
Swans swimming beak to beak have become a common symbol of mate-for-life dedication. The males often help in nest-building and egg-incubating, and pairs often return to the same nest year after year. But science has found plenty of exceptions: For the mute swan (Cygnus olor), some pairings are not exactly "until death do us part," and even if the daddy sticks around, he might be doing some messing around on the side. One study found that for black swans (Cygnus atratus), some one in six cygnets were fathered by a different daddy from the one sitting on their nest.
One of the only primate examples of monogamy, Lar gibbons (or white-handed gibbons, Hylobates lar) have long been documented living in close-knit families. The coupled male and female will spend time grooming each other and (literally) hanging out together in the trees. But more recent research has found that these unions are not quite as uncomplicated as once thought. With mates occasionally philandering, and even sometimes dumping a mate, the gibbon mating culture has started to look perhaps a little bit more like ours.
Seputar pro dan kontra poligami dalam ajaran Islam.
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