sabato 15 luglio 2017

# s-behav: mafia-style among Cuckoos (the brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater)

<< Why do many hosts accept costly avian brood parasitism even when parasitic eggs and nestlings differ dramatically in appearance from their own? Scientists argue that evolutionary lag or equilibrium can explain this evolutionary enigma. Few, however, consider the potential of parasitic birds to enforce acceptance by destroying eggs or nestlings of hosts that eject parasitic eggs and thereby reject parasitism.  This retaliatory “mafia” behavior has been reported in one species of parasitic cuckoo but never in parasitic cowbirds. >>

AA << present experimental evidence of mafia behavior in the brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater ) >>

Jeffrey P. Hoover, Scott K. Robinson. Retaliatory mafia behavior by a parasitic cowbird favors host acceptance of parasitic eggs. PNAS 2007 vol. 104 no. 11: 4479–4483  doi: 10.1073/pnas.0609710104

Andy Coghlan. Cuckoos use mafia-style tactics to raise young.  March 5, 2007

Brown-headed cowbird

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