Young seabird couples get ‘divorced’ with little immediate benefit

Two thick-billed murres

Thick-billed murres normally pair up for life and reunite each year to breed

Marianne Gousy-Leblanc

Young and inexperienced Arctic seabird couples are the most likely in their colonies to “divorce”, despite seeming to get no immediate benefits from doing so.

Like many other seabirds, thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) are socially monogamous: they pair up for life and reunite at the same nesting site each year to mate and work together to raise their chicks. This makes it important to find the right partner. Being out of sync when swapping places on the …

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