How the cuckoo tricks a bird of a different feather

September 24, 2013 11:05 PM

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How the cuckoo tricks a bird of a different feather

The African cuckoo finch is a notorious trickster, short-cutting the chores of parenthood by hiding its eggs in the nest of the African tawny-flanked prinia, which wind up hatching and raising them.

Such parasitic nesting relationships are relatively common among birds, and tend to set off a co-evolutionary arms race – host species improve their ability to reject eggs, and interlopers’ eggs become better mimics.

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