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monogamy and fertility

Owl monkey research suggests it’s a good idea to be monogamous

Recent research published in the online journal PLOS ONE has revealed just how important monogamy may be, by suggesting that couples who remain faithful may have up to 25 per cent more offspring.

Associate Professor Eduardo Fernandez-Duque of the University of Pennsylvania and his team have been studying owl monkeys in the Chaco region of Argentina since 1997.

Although this species is usually socially monogamous, the team found that these pair bonds among the monkeys can be volatile, with 'floater' individuals sometimes initiating fights and breaking up pairings.

However, the scientists also found that break-ups come at a cost - the animals that remained with just one partner produced 25 per cent more offspring every ten years than those who enjoyed monkey love with more than one partner.