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Contact: Dr. Maria Abou Chakra
abouchakra@evolbio.mpg.de
49-452-276-3237
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

Cuckoo Egg

Caption: The cowbird is not picky when it comes to selecting its hosts: it can choose from among 140 species with quite different eggs. Although the hosts can easily recognize the foreign egg, they frequently hatch it. The cowbird uses a trick to ensure that it doesn't have to adapt its eggs to resemble those of other species. By employing retaliation measures, it forces the step-parents to accept the egg.

Credit: GalawebDesign/This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eastern_Phoebe-nest-Brown-headed-Cowbird-egg.jpg

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Related news release: Fear of the cuckoo mafia


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