You are not currently logged in.
Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:
Behaviorally Induced Camouflage: A New Mechanism of Avian Egg Protection
Fernando Mayani-Parás, Rebecca M. Kilner, Mary Caswell Stoddard, Cristina Rodríguez and Hugh Drummond
The American Naturalist
Vol. 186, No. 4 (October 2015), pp. E91-E97
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/682579
Page Count: 7
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Eggs, Animal camouflage, Animal nesting, Bird nesting, Incubation, Predators, Forest soils, Predation, Eggshells, Grasses
Were these topics helpful?See something inaccurate? Let us know!
Select the topics that are inaccurate.
Preview not available
AbstractWhen animals potentially occupy diverse microhabitats, how can camouflage be achieved? Here we combine descriptive and experimental methods to uncover a novel form of phenotypic plasticity in the camouflage of bird eggs that may be present in other avian taxa. Soil from the bare substrate adheres to the blue-footed booby’s (Sula nebouxii’s) pale eggs, which parents manipulate both under and on top of their webs. Analysis of digital images confirmed that dirtiness increases progressively during the first 16 days of the incubation period, making eggs more similar to the nest substrate. Observations of 3,668 single-egg clutches showed that the probability of egg loss declines progressively over the same time frame and then remains low for the rest of the 41-day incubation period. An experiment showed that when chicken eggs are soiled and exposed in artificial booby nests, they are less likely to be taken by Heermann’s gulls (Larus heermanni) than clean eggs.
© 2015 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.