Escalation of a coevolutionary arms race through host rejection of brood parasitic young
Cuckoo nestlings that evict all other young from the nest soon after hatching impose a high reproductive cost on their hosts1. In defence, hosts have coevolved strategies to prevent brood parasitism. Puzzlingly, they do not extend beyond the egg stage2-5. Thus, hosts adept at recognizing foreign eggs remain vulnerable to exploitation by cuckoo nestlings6,7. Here we show that the breach of host egg defences by cuckoos creates a new stage in the coevolutionary cycle. We found that defences used...[Show more]
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