Published on January 26th, 2010 | by Beth Graddon-Hodgson3
Researchers Discover Swans May Not be as Monogamous as Thought!
Many bird species, like swans, are known for mating for life. They form partnerships, much like a marriage and unlike humans, tend to really stick to the notion of “’til death do us part”; which is why experts have been shocked by new swan relationships that have formed at a UK sanctuary.
Each year, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust centre at Slimbridge waves goodbye to resident swans Sarindi (male) and Saruni (female) when they return to Arctic Russia for the warmer seasons and welcomes them back for the winter. This swan couple has formed a partnership for years, so individuals at the sanctuary were shocked when the male swan returned with a new female. Typically, with swans, a new partnership means that death has in fact parted them; but shortly after Sarindi’s arrival, just when Saruni was assumed dead, she too arrived with a new mate.
Researchers say that this is extremely unusual behavior in swans, but some can’t help but find humor in the fact that the new ex-partners have settled in close quarters to one another, managing to be more civilized than many humans after a split. The only reasonable scientific explanation for this unusual behavior is a potential inability to breed since over the past two years no little ones have resulted from this couple.
Image Via: Flickr User Mait Jariado with a Creative Commons License