Brood parasites are animals, usually birds, which trick other species to raise their young. The best-known example is the cuckoo. The way it works is the parasite develops faster than the resident eggs, kills its nestmates and turfs them out of the nest. The adult birds cannot tell the difference in the young, and spend their time raising the offspring of another species. In some cases, the parasite has the ability to make the begging cheeps of the host species.
Similar methods are used by some fish and insects.
References[change | change source]
- Payne R.B. 1997. Avian brood parasitism. In D.H. Clayton and J. Moore (eds) Host-parasite evolution: general principles and avian models, 338–369. Oxford University Press.
- Sorenson M.D. and R.B. Payne 2001. A single ancient origin of brood parasitism in African finches: implications for host-parasite coevolution. Evolution: 55: 2550-2567