cuckoo cheating by nature

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Cuckoo

Author : Nick Davies
ISBN : 9781620409534
Genre : Nature
File Size : 47. 10 MB
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A gifted biologist's careful and beguiling study of why cuckoos have got away with tricking other birds into hatching and raising their young for thousands of years. The familiar call of the common cuckoo, "cuck-oo,†? has been a harbinger of spring ever since our ancestors walked out of Africa many thousands of years ago. However, for naturalist and scientist Nick Davies, the call is an invitation to solve an enduring puzzle: how does the cuckoo get away with laying its eggs in the nests of other birds and tricking them into raising young cuckoos rather than their own offspring? Early observers who noticed a little warbler feeding a monstrously large cuckoo chick concluded the cuckoo's lack of parental care was the result of faulty design by the Creator, and that the hosts chose to help the poor cuckoo. These quaint views of bad design and benevolence were banished after Charles Darwin proposed that the cuckoo tricks the hosts in an evolutionary battle, where hosts evolve better defenses against cuckoos and cuckoos, in turn, evolve better trickery to outwit the hosts. For the last three decades, Davies has employed observation and field experiments to unravel the details of this evolutionary "arms race†? between cuckoos and their hosts. Like a detective, Davies and his colleagues studied adult cuckoo behavior, cuckoo egg markings, and cuckoo chick begging calls to discover exactly how cuckoos trick their hosts. For birding and evolution aficionados, The Cuckoo is a lyrical and scientifically satisfying exploration of one of nature's most astonishing and beautiful adaptations.

Cuckoos Cowbirds And Other Cheats

Author : N. B. Davies
ISBN : 9781408135860
Genre : Science
File Size : 86. 67 MB
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In this fascinating new book, Nick Davies describes the natural histories of these brood parasites and examines many of the exciting questions they raise about the evolution of cheating and the arms race between parasites and their prey. Brood parasites fill their armory with adaptations including exquisite egg mimicry, rapid laying, ejection of host eggs, murder of host young, chick mimicry and manipulative begging behavior: ploys shown by recent research to have evolved in response to host defense behavior or through competition among the parasites themselves. While many host species appear defenseless, accepting parasite eggs quite unlike their own, many are more discriminating against odd-looking eggs and some have evolved the ability to discriminate against odd-looking chicks as well. How is this arms race conducted? Will defenseless hosts develop defenses in time, or are there constraints which limit the evolution and perfection of host defenses? And why are so few species obliged only to lay eggs in host nests? Have host defenses limited the success of brood parasitism, or is it in fact much more common than we suspect, but occurring mainly when birds parasitize the nest of their own kind? All of these puzzles are examined in descriptions of the natural history of each of the groups of parasites in turn. Here is a book with wide appeal, both to amateur naturalists fascinated by this most singular and macabre of behaviors and by ornithologists and ecologists interested in the evolution of ecology and behavior. The story takes us from the classic field work earlier this century by pioneer ornithologists such as Edgar Chance, Stuart Baker, Herbert Friedmann and others, through to the recent experimental field work and molecular techniques of today's leading scientists. We visit brood parasites in Europe, Asia, Japan, Africa, Australasia, and North and South America, to look at some of the worlds most interesting birds and some of biology's most interesting questions, many of which still beg answers from ornithologists in the future. Brilliant illustrations by David Quinn illuminate the species discussed, showing many behaviors never before illustrated and conveying the thrill of watching these astonishing birds in the wild.

Cuckoos Of The World

Author : Johannes Erritzøe
ISBN : 9781408142677
Genre : Science
File Size : 30. 33 MB
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This authoritative handbook, part of the Helm Identification Guides series, looks in detail at the world's cuckoos, couas and coucals - the family Cuculidae. Famed as brood-parasites of other birds, the cuckoos include a diverse range of species, from the roadrunners of North America to the spectacular malkohas of southern Asia. This book discusses the biology and identification of these birds on a species-by-species basis, bringing together the very latest research with accurate range maps, more than 600 stunning colour photographs that illuminate age and racial plumage differences, and 36 superb plates by a team of internationally renowned artists.

The Most Perfect Thing

Author : Tim Birkhead
ISBN : 9781632863713
Genre : Nature
File Size : 38. 38 MB
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A bird's egg is a nearly perfect survival capsule--an external womb--and one of natural selection's most wonderful creations. Shortlisted for the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize 2016.One of Forbes' Best Books About Birds and Birding in 2016. Renowned ornithologist Tim Birkhead opens this gripping story as a female guillemot chick hatches, already carrying her full quota of tiny eggs within her undeveloped ovary. As she grows into adulthood, only a few of her eggs mature, are released into the oviduct, and are fertilized by sperm stored from copulation that took place days or weeks earlier. Within a matter of hours, the fragile yolk is surrounded by albumen and the whole is gradually encased within a turquoise jewel of a shell. Soon the fully formed egg is expelled onto a rocky ledge, where it will be incubated for four weeks before a chick emerges and the life cycle begins again. THE MOST PERFECT THING is about how eggs in general are made, fertilized, developed, and hatched. Birkhead uses birds' eggs as wondrous portals into natural history, enlivened by the stories of naturalists and scientists, including Birkhead and his students, whose discoveries have advanced current scientific knowledge of reproduction.

Cuckoo

Author : Oldřich Mikulica
ISBN : 0995567301
Genre :
File Size : 87. 24 MB
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Project Puffin

Author : Stephen W. Kress
ISBN : 9780300204810
Genre : Nature
File Size : 37. 20 MB
Format : PDF
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The inspiring story of a young ornithologist who reintroduced puffins where none had been seen for a century

Dunnock Behaviour And Social Evolution

Author : Nicholas B. Davies
ISBN : UOM:49015001472795
Genre : Literary Collections
File Size : 82. 50 MB
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At first sight just a small brown bird, the dunnock's unobtrusive appearance belies its extraordinary behaviour and mating patterns. In this book Nick Davies gives a full account of the mating systems of the dunnock or hedge sparrow, Prunella modularis, which include pairs, a male with twofemales, two males with one female, and several males with several females. Detailed observations, elegant field experiments, and DNA fingerprinting are combined to show how this variable social organization arises from selfish individuals competing to maximize their own reproductive success.Further experiments reveal how the cuckoo may thwart the dunnock's parental efforts. David Quinn's exquisite drawings provide a visual summary of the birds' behaviour. All students of ecology, evolution, and animal behaviour will want to be familiar with this work, which addresses the wider issuesof the influence of ecology on mating systems and the evolutionary significance of conflict within and between species. This is the third volume in the Oxford Series in Ecology and Evolution, and the first in this series to tackle behavioural ecology. Nick Davies is a Lecturer in Zoology at the University of Cambridge and co-editor with J.R. Krebs of the leading text in the field, Behavioural Ecology: An EvolutionaryApproach.

Cheats And Deceits

Author : Martin Stevens
ISBN : 9780191017605
Genre : Science
File Size : 54. 74 MB
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In nature, trickery and deception are widespread. Animals and plants mimic other objects or species in the environment for protection, trick other species into rearing their young, lure prey to their death, and deceive potential mates for reproduction. Cuckoos lay eggs carefully matched to their host's own clutch. Harmless butterflies mimic the wing patterning of a poisonous butterfly to avoid being eaten. The deep-sea angler fish hangs a glowing, fleshy lure in front of its mouth to draw the attention of potential prey, while some male fish alter their appearance to look like females in order to sneak past rivals in mating. Some orchids develop the smell of female insects in order to attract pollinators, while carnivorous plants lure insects to their death with colourful displays. In this book, Martin Stevens describes the remarkable range of such adaptations in nature, and considers how they have evolved, and become increasingly perfected as part of an arms race between predator and prey or host and parasite. He explores the work of naturalists and biologists from Alfred Russel Wallace to current research, showing how scientists find ways of testing the impact of particular behaviours and colourings on the animals it is meant to fool, as opposed to our human perceptions. Drawing on a wide range of examples, Stevens considers what deception tells us about the process of evolution and adaptation.

Bird Sense

Author : Tim Birkhead
ISBN : 9780802779687
Genre : Nature
File Size : 54. 51 MB
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What is it like to be a swift, flying at over one hundred kilometres an hour? Or a kiwi, plodding flightlessly among the humid undergrowth in the pitch dark of a New Zealand night? And what is going on inside the head of a nightingale as it sings, and how does its brain improvise? Bird Sense addresses questions like these and many more, by describing the senses of birds that enable them to interpret their environment and to interact with each other. Our affinity for birds is often said to be the result of shared senses--vision and hearing--but how exactly do their senses compare with our own? And what about a bird's sense of taste, or smell, or touch, or the ability to detect the earth's magnetic field? Or the extraordinary ability of desert birds to detect rain hundreds of kilometres away--how do they do it? Bird Sense is based on a conviction that we have consistently underestimated what goes on in a bird's head. Our understanding of bird behaviour is simultaneously informed and constrained by the way we watch and study them. By drawing attention to the way these frameworks both facilitate and inhibit discovery, Birkhead identifies ways we can escape from them to explore new horizons in bird behaviour. There has never been a popular book about the senses of birds. No one has previously looked at how birds interpret the world or the way the behaviour of birds is shaped by all their senses. A lifetime spent studying birds has provided Tim Birkhead with a wealth of observation and a unique understanding of birds and their behaviour that is firmly grounded in science.

Rare Birds Of North America

Author : Steve N. G. Howell
ISBN : 9781400848072
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 77. 98 MB
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Rare Birds of North America is the first comprehensive illustrated guide to the vagrant birds that occur throughout the United States and Canada. Featuring 275 stunning color plates, this book covers 262 species originating from three very different regions--the Old World, the New World tropics, and the world's oceans. It explains the causes of avian vagrancy and breaks down patterns of occurrence by region and season, enabling readers to see where, when, and why each species occurs in North America. Detailed species accounts describe key identification features, taxonomy, age, sex, distribution, and status. Rare Birds of North America provides unparalleled insights into vagrancy and avian migration, and will enrich the birding experience of anyone interested in finding and observing rare birds. Covers 262 species of vagrant birds found in the United States and Canada Features 275 stunning color plates that depict every species Explains patterns of occurrence by region and season Provides an invaluable overview of vagrancy patterns and migration Includes detailed species accounts and cutting-edge identification tips

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