Egg size matching by an intraspecific brood parasite
AbstractAvian brood parasitism provides an ideal system with which to understand animal recognition and its affect on fitness. This phenomenon of laying eggs in the nests of other individuals has classically been framed from the perspective of interspecific brood parasitism and host recognition of parasitic eggs. Few examples exist of strategies adopted by intraspecific brood parasites to maximize success of parasitic eggs. Intraspecific brood parasitism within precocial birds can be a risky strategy in that hatch synchrony is essential to reproductive success. Given that egg size is positively correlated with incubation time, parasitic birds would benefit by recognizing and selecting hosts with a similar egg size. Intraspecific brood parasitism is an alternative reproductive strategy in black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans), a colonial nesting goose with precocial young. Based on a randomization test, parasitic eggs in this study differed less in size from eggs in their host's nests than did random eggs placed in random nests. Parasitic eggs were remarkably similar in size to hosts' eggs, differing by <2% of volume on average from host eggs, whereas randomly paired eggs in random nests differed by nearly 8%. The precision with which parasitic brant match the egg size of hosts in our study supports our hypothesis that brant match egg size of hosts, thereby maximizing hatching success of their parasitic eggs. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by International Society for Behavioral Ecology in its journal Behavioral Ecology.
Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.