quarta-feira, 18 de março de 2009

Female green winged macaws at Taronga Zoo are lesbians

ONE'S butch and one's feminine - but these birds of a feather are definitely flocking together.

The female green winged macaws are in a relationship at Taronga Zoo and as far as nature is concerned, comic Jerry Seinfeld was right: 'There's nothing wrong with that."

In-depth section: Taronga Zoo - stories, videos, galleries

Homosexuality in animals is surprisingly common and has been highlighted by a dilemma facing UK conservationists, who are trying to breed rare blue ducks.

They have just three - two males and a female - but the problem is the blokes prefer their own company.

Keepers at the Arundel Wetland Centre in West Sussex have now given up all hope of the ducks breeding, and say the species, originally a New Zealand river dweller, will soon become extinct in Britain.

Taronga Zoo also has a problem: the two female macaws - parrots from South America - think the male in their enclosure is a bit of a wimp.

"The two females have paired up and one is submissive while the other is more dominant, masculine in behaviour," senior bird keeper Richard Matkovics said yesterday.

The macaws, like most parrots, are genetically programmed for companionship - and it appears the two Taronga females followed their instincts and bonded back when they were in a different enclosure.

When they were put in a new enclosure and introduced to the younger male, they stayed together.

Homosexuality has been observed in more than 1500 animal species.

It is often the result of too many males and too few females in a group, or a dominant male refusing younger males access to females.

While some juveniles grow out of it, animals that live a completely homosexual life can also be found, particularly among birds that will pair with one partner for life.

But the dwarf chimp or bonobo is possibly the gayest animal.

Almost all bonobos, one of human's closest relatives, are bisexual and more than 75 per cent of bonobo sex is not for reproduction.

Female green winged macaws at Taronga Zoo are lesbians

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