Zoo animals that do their own matchmaking may see more success

02/28/2013 | Portland Tribune (Ore.), The

Oregon Zoo research suggests the longstanding strategy of selecting mates for zoo residents based on genetic diversity may not be the best approach to ensure success. Female pygmy rabbits that mated with animals of their own choosing or animals they were familiar with were more likely to give birth than those placed with unfamiliar males, and litters tended to be larger and have better survival. "In the wild, every one of these animals has mate choice," said researcher Meghan Martin.

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