Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Why Some Birds Take so Long to Hatch

P. Dee Boersma
The American Naturalist
Vol. 120, No. 6 (Dec., 1982), pp. 733-750
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2461170
Page Count: 18
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($19.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Why Some Birds Take so Long to Hatch
Preview not available

Abstract

In general, incubation periods of bird eggs are positively correlated with egg weights. The eggs of some birds take much longer to hatch than expected. Highly variable and long incubation periods are explained using fork-tailed storm petrels as an example. Their eggs take two to three times as long to hatch as eggs of similar size. Egg neglect causes the extreme variability in incubation periods within a species. Low incubation temperatures prolong incubation, but long incubation periods may also be a result of selective forces that favor hatching well-developed young that can be attended infrequently. Past terminology has obscured the importance of the relationship between incubation periods and the maturity of chicks at hatching. Selection has produced a continuum between cheap eggs and expensive care for the relatively helpless (altricial) young or expensive eggs and inexpensive care for the relatively independent (precocial) young. The distant foraging habits of the Procellariiformes have favored independent hatchlings.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
733
    733
  • Thumbnail: Page 
734
    734
  • Thumbnail: Page 
735
    735
  • Thumbnail: Page 
736
    736
  • Thumbnail: Page 
737
    737
  • Thumbnail: Page 
738
    738
  • Thumbnail: Page 
739
    739
  • Thumbnail: Page 
740
    740
  • Thumbnail: Page 
741
    741
  • Thumbnail: Page 
742
    742
  • Thumbnail: Page 
743
    743
  • Thumbnail: Page 
744
    744
  • Thumbnail: Page 
745
    745
  • Thumbnail: Page 
746
    746
  • Thumbnail: Page 
747
    747
  • Thumbnail: Page 
748
    748
  • Thumbnail: Page 
749
    749
  • Thumbnail: Page 
750
    750