Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Any mating system other than monogamy; in polygamous systems, each sex may mate with multiple partners during the breeding season. Polygamy is common among primates and occurs in species in which males offer little or no parental care. Variations in polygamy include polyandry and polygyny. In addition, polygamy may be characterized by promiscuous mating in which the partners break off association, or by mating that has a longer lasting relationship.

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