Thursday, December 10, 2009

Being Queer is for the Birds

Female birds can puff out their chests and prance around just like their male counterparts in species where parents share caring for offspring and females need to compete for mates, researchers have found. In other words, birds, like humans, can be gay gay gay!!!

CBC reports:
Ornithologists at Cornell University say females in species that breed in groups can show characteristics usually associated with males, like bright plumage and courtship dances.

These typically male embellishments are the result of sexual selection and are seen in pair-breeding bird species where males court females and females must choose their mates carefully.

In species where males and females share the job of caring for offspring and females have to compete for the attention of males, the two sexes tend to look more alike.

The researchers, whose work was published this week in Nature, focused on African starlings, but say the concept is the same for all birds. "We've known it happens with females in some specialized cases, but it's probably more widespread than we ever realized before," said Irby Lovette of Cornell in a statement. READ MORE