Sunday Sketch: Monogamous Mommies

Laysan albatrosses (Phoebastria immutabilis) spend much of their time soaring hundreds of miles per day over the Pacific Ocean. They breed on islands, including the Hawaiian archipelago, and form breeding pairs that often last for multiple years. Laysan albatrosses are one of several animal species known to form long-term same-sex breeding pairs; at a breeding colony on Oʻahu, 31% of breeding pairs were female-female! The two mothers would cooperate each year to raise a chick produced by one of the two females.

Sketch and fact contributed by Jessica Schaefer

Source: Young, C. Y., Zaun, B. J., and VanderWerf, E. A. (2008) Succesful same-sex pairing in Laysan albatross. Biology Letters: 4, 323 – 325.

[Edited by Adrian Perez]

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