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Why do Horsfield's bronze-cuckoo Chalcites basalis eggs mimic those of their hosts?

Langmore, Naomi; Kilner, Rebecca

Description

The Horsfield's bronze-cuckoo (Chalcites basalis) egg closely matches the appearance of its host fairy-wren (Malurus spp.) eggs. Mimicry of host eggs by cuckoos is usually attributed to coevolution between cuckoos and hosts, with host discrimination against odd-looking eggs selecting for ever better mimicry by cuckoos. However, this process cannot explain Horsfield's bronze-cuckoo egg mimicry because fairy-wren hosts rarely reject odd-looking eggs from their nest. An alternative hypothesis is...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2009
Type: Journal article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/58672
Source: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
DOI: 10.1007/s00265-009-0759-9

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