Polygamy and Polyandry00:40

Polygamy and Polyandry

 "The mating of one female with more than one male while each male mates with only one female is known as polyandry (literally, "many males"). It is a rare mating system, occurring in less than one percent of all bird species, and is found mostly in shorebirds. Polyandry is often accompanied by a reversal of sexual roles in which males perform all or most parental duties and females compete for mates. The common pattern of sexual dimorphism is often reversed in polyandrous birds: the female is often larger and more colorful than the male. This reversal confused early biologists and led Audubon to mislabel males and females in all of his phalarope plates."

Paul R. Ehrlich, David S. Dobkin, and Darryl Wheye.

Description of Polyandry typesEdit

"Two types of polyandry have been documented: simultaneous polyandry and sequential polyandry. In simultaneous polyandry, each female holds a large territory containing the smaller nesting territories of two or more males who care for the eggs and tend the young. In our region, only Northern jacanas characteristically practice this form of polyandry. Females may mate with all of their consorts in one day and provide each male with help in defending his territory. A female will not copulate with a mate while their eggs are being incubated or during the first six weeks of the fife of the chicks. If a clutch is lost, she will quickly copulate with the broodless male and lay a new batch of eggs within a few days".

Paul R. Ehrlich, David S. Dobkin, and Darryl Wheye.

Example of Polyandrous OspreysEdit

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