Avoidance of inbreeding is evident amongst humans, and has been demonstrated in some shorebirds, mice and sand lizards.
Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology now report that it also occurs in a strictly monogamous species of bird, suggesting that the black-legged kittiwake possesses the ability to choose partners with a very different genetic profile.
The study, led by Richard H. Wagner from the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Ethology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and Etienne Danchin from the University Paul Sabatier of Toulouse, and involving researchers from the Universit√© Pierre et Marie Curie, the Alaska Science Center, and the University of Bern, tracked 10 genetic markers, microsatellite loci, to investigate whether kittiwakes …