New research indicates that same-sex zebra finch couples are just as affectionate and likely to stay together as their heterosexual equivalents.
The study was carried out by a number of scientists and has been printed in the journal Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology.
The research discovered that zebra finches in same-sex couples sang to each other in equal measure to individuals in mixed relationships. Zebra finches are believed to use singing to strengthen the bond between them and their mate.
"My observations of them led me to this surprising result: same-sex individuals would also interact in affiliative manners, like male-female pairs," commented lead researcher Julie Elie, from the University of California Berkeley.
The research also indicated that male birds raised in same-sex groups were more likely to pair with other males, with more than half choosing a same-sex partner. Additionally, the research purported that even when female birds were introduced to the same-sex groups, the birds in relationships chose to stay with their current partners.
"The research showed relationships in animals can be more complicated than just a male and a female who meet and reproduce, even in birds" commented Elie. "I'm interested in how animals establish relationships and how they use acoustic communication in their social interactions."
Elie went on to comment that the same-sex couples dedication to one-another could be born from pragmatic rather than romantic motivations.
"A pair-bond in socially monogamous species represents a cooperative partnership that may give advantages for survival.
"Finding a social partner, whatever its sex, could be a priority."
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