Same-sex behavior in animals fascinates scientists as well as laypeople, partly because of implications about sexual orientation in humans. After all, if animals engage in homosexuality, can it be dismissed as 'unnatural'? A recent paper by Young and colleagues documents long-term female pairs in >30% of Laysan albatross on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The unrelated females bred successfully, challenging ideas about cooperative breeding, alternative reproductive strategies and perhaps even the evolution of sexual orientation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
M.Z. is funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and the UCR Academic Senate.