When given a choice, animals rarely avoid mating with their cousins or siblings, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. The study was a meta-analysis that collected and analysed information from 139 studies on mate choice, conducted over 40 years looking at 88 different species, from fruit flies to chimpanzees, CBC reports. Canadian researcher John Fitzpatrick, an associate professor of zoology at Stockholm University, told Quirks & Quarks host Bob McDonald that he was motivated to understand how animals approached the problem of choosing their mates. “To our surprise, we found that animals don’t really seem to care if they’re mating with a relative or not,” he said. In fact, they found that animals will breed with kin 73 per cent of the time. Fitzpatrick’s team only included studies conducted in controlled, experimental settings with captive animals.