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Hamilton & Orians (1965) stated that the non-parasitic ancestor of cowbirds accelerated its incubation period and nestling growth. Later, by comparing cowbirds with nesting birds, it was suggested that those characteristics, together with small eggs with thicker eggshell, were adaptations. When these hypotheses were tested considering the characteristics of the group in which cowbirds evolved, i.e. the "grackles and allies", it was found that only the thicker eggshell was a plausible adaptation. Moreover, nesting grackles and allies showed the same reproductive patterns as cowbirds (shorter incubation periods, faster nestling growth, and smaller eggs than those predicted by general allometric equations). In the present study, we tested whether small eggs with short incubation periods and nestlings with accelerated growth evolved in the ancestor of grackles and allies. For all the traits tested, we reconstructed ancestral states and built prediction intervals generated with independent variables that were allometrically related to them. Except for accelerated growth, we applied two evolutionary models incorporating outgroups in three steps. We found that the short incubation period and the faster nestling growth never evolved in the ancestor of grackles and allies. In most ancestor reconstructions, neither egg mass nor female body mass changed. However, when it changed, it increased both egg and female masses. The prediction intervals indicated that those increases did not imply an allometric change in size. Consequently, neither a decrease in egg mass nor an acceleration in nestling development and incubation period are considered characteristics that predisposed cowbirds to become brood parasites. © The Neotropical Ornithological Society.


Documento: Artículo
Título:Do life-history traits in the ancestor of Cowbirds (Molothrus spp.) predispose them to become brood parasites?
Autor:Manuela Pujol, E.; Mermoz, M.E.
Filiación:Departamento de Ecología, Genética y Evolución, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Ciudad Universitaria, Piso 4 Pabellón II, (C1428EHA), Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Palabras clave:Adaptations; Allometric equation; Ancestor reconstruction; Brood parasites; Cowbirds; Egg mass; Exaptations; Incubation period; Molothrus; Nestling asymptotic body mass
Página de inicio:553
Página de fin:568
Título revista:Ornitologia Neotropical
Título revista abreviado:Ornitol. Neotrop.


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---------- APA ----------
Manuela Pujol, E. & Mermoz, M.E. (2011) . Do life-history traits in the ancestor of Cowbirds (Molothrus spp.) predispose them to become brood parasites?. Ornitologia Neotropical, 22(4), 553-568.
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---------- CHICAGO ----------
Manuela Pujol, E., Mermoz, M.E. "Do life-history traits in the ancestor of Cowbirds (Molothrus spp.) predispose them to become brood parasites?" . Ornitologia Neotropical 22, no. 4 (2011) : 553-568.
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---------- MLA ----------
Manuela Pujol, E., Mermoz, M.E. "Do life-history traits in the ancestor of Cowbirds (Molothrus spp.) predispose them to become brood parasites?" . Ornitologia Neotropical, vol. 22, no. 4, 2011, pp. 553-568.
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---------- VANCOUVER ----------
Manuela Pujol, E., Mermoz, M.E. Do life-history traits in the ancestor of Cowbirds (Molothrus spp.) predispose them to become brood parasites?. Ornitol. Neotrop. 2011;22(4):553-568.
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