Egg Rejection and Brain Size among Potential Hosts of the Common Cuckoo

Aviles, Jesus M. and Garamszegi, László Zsolt (2007) Egg Rejection and Brain Size among Potential Hosts of the Common Cuckoo. Ethology, 113 (6). pp. 562-572. ISSN 0179-1613 (print), 1439-0310 (online)

[img] Text
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (557kB) | Request a copy


Interspecific brood parasitism by the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) lowers host fitness, and has selected for discrimination and rejection of parasitic eggs in their commonly parasitized hosts. Cognitive demands needed to discriminate and reject cuckoo eggs may have led to augmentation of relative brain size among passerine hosts parasitized by cuckoos. This hypothesis predicts for across species positive relationships of brain size with rejection rate, host suitability and parasitism level. Here we test these predictions while controlling for phylogenetic, ecological and developmental factors known to affect brain size and egg rejection in a comparative study using the cuckoo and their hosts in Europe as a model system. Contrary to expected the rate of rejection of non-mimetic cuckoo eggs covaried negatively with relative brain size across bird species. Either suitability as cuckoo host, which reflects long-time duration of exposure to cuckoo parasitism, and level of parasitism, did not relate to brain size. Our results do not support the hypothesis that cuckoo parasitism was a main direct force affecting brain size variation across passerine hosts.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QH Natural history / természetrajz > QH301 Biology / biológia
Q Science / természettudomány > QL Zoology / állattan
Depositing User: Erika Bilicsi
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2013 13:08
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2013 13:08

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item