When Single Male Rodents Settle Down, They're Changed Forever
Forget soulmates. Male prairie voles have no idea who they’re raising kids with—at least, not until they mate.
Sex can change a lot about a relationship. For male prairie voles, it can even change their brains.
Prairie voles, small, furry rodents native to North America, are one of the few mammals that form (mostly) monogamous partnerships. Many share homes and parenting duties, preferring to snuggle with their partners over any other vole. (Read more about how prairie voles form their bonds.)
So you might think that a little rodent romance would go into choosing these special life partners—but at least on the male’s end, this doesn’t seem to be true.
Before male prairie voles put a ring on it, they can't tell one single lady from another, according to a new study in the October issue of Animal Behavior.