You may have missed. . . Stories from the frontiers of the believable

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Ornithologists in New York have discovered that the great reed warbler chicks most likely to survive are those fathered by the best singers - whether or not their natural father brings them up. "These data support the hypothesis that females, by engaging in extra-pair fertilisation (adultery), seek genetic benefits for their offspring," the current issue of Nature reports.

The city of Wuhan in China has decreed that a fine of up to 2,000 yuan (pounds 160) may be imposed on unmarried couples who live together. They may also be ordered to live apart.

A teacher and child welfare group in Finland has launched a board game called "How to Make Children". Its stated aim is to interest teenage schoolboys in the reproductive side of sex. "Everybody gets pregnant in the game, even the boys," a spokesperson explained. "The kids can hardly wait to play."

A new word has entered Japanese: "Sekuhara" is a corruption of the English "sexual harassment" and means the same.

A study in New Orleans has shown that older men who snore are more likely to put on weight than silent sleepers. Previously it was believed that fatness caused snoring. Now we know that snoring causes sleeplessness, which leaves you too tired to do anything other than get fat.

The Reverend Stephen Grey of Bamford bravely continued a communion service, despite a ferret racing up his cassock. "I must admit, the prayers speeded up a bit towards the end," he said.

Six people have been arrested in Peking and a food factory closed after plastic models of a couple having sex were found in packs of snack food for children.

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