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Aggressive Behavior and Interspecific Killing by Flying Steamer-Ducks in Argentina

Gary L. Nuechterlein and Robert W. Storer
The Condor
Vol. 87, No. 1 (Feb., 1985), pp. 87-91
DOI: 10.2307/1367137
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1367137
Page Count: 5
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Aggressive Behavior and Interspecific Killing by Flying Steamer-Ducks in Argentina
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Abstract

Flying Steamer-Ducks (Tachyeres patachonicus) breeding on small, snow-melt lakes in the Andean foothills show intensive intra- and interspecific aggression toward a wide variety of species not closely related taxonomically, or similar in appearance or food habits. When establishing their territories, newly formed pairs frequently fight and perform mutual vocal and visual displays. We here report first-hand observations and post-mortem evidence of their killing other ducks during this period. Adaptations for intraspecific fighting in this species may have largely eliminated the risk of injury when attacking birds of other species, thereby increasing the probability of benefitting from wider interspecific aggression.

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