Cuckoo finch may be longer

Note the forgery: The fruit on the right is for a bird zitting cisticola, while the one on the left is a cuckoo finch forgery.

Note the forgery: The egg on the right is for a bird zitting cisticola, while the one on the left is a cuckoo finch forgery.

For two million years, African turtles have been tricking other birds into feeding their young by matching the color of their eggs, but new research shows that species are looking at this evolutionary scam.

The beautiful yellow appearance of the cuckoo finch denies its ugliness: it lays its eggs locked in foreign nests, where the foster parents treat them as their own.

The cuckoo finch eggs then ripen a little earlier than the others in the nest, allowing them to grow faster and demand more nutrients than the host chickens – dying of malnutrition. hungry even though their confused parents are the first to cheat.

Hoping to save their young from this terrible fate, birds such as the African tawny-flanked prinia, a common species of decoy, have developed a variety of colors and patterns for their eggs. to avoid falling for deception.

But the wily cuckoo finch responded the same way, changing the ability to copy egg colors and the signatures of different bird species.

Back in 1933, British magician Reginald Punnett believed that this amazing talent of mimicry had been inherited from their mothers.

His plan was confirmed for the first time by a study published in PNAS The science journal this week, which confirmed the transmission of intelligence through the W chromosome found only in female birds – just as the Y chromosome is found only in males. yes

The largest cuckoo finch hatchling, in the middle, demands all the food in the nest, leaving the host chickens to fight and die.

The largest cuckoo finch hatchling, in the middle, demands all the food in the nest, leaving the host chickens to fight and die.

However, the study said, “in this particular race, played on the grass of central Africa, natural selection produced a genetic mutation known as a double -edged sword.”

Studying DNA samples of 196 cuckoo finches from 141 nests of four grass-warbler species in Zambia, the researchers found that long dupes have developed new ways to smell the cuckoo finch’s decoy.

The green fruit is uncrackable

Claire Spottiswoode, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Cambridge and the University of Cape Town who led the research, gave a sample of the olive-green egg, laid by the prinia. red.

A single female cuckoo finch cannot produce all kinds of eggs of different colors, he said.

He could only compare it to the egg of the bird that fed him – the cuckoo finch was “beaten” in the manner of trapping his victims in the future from the shells of his foster brothers.

That means you can lay red eggs or other white eggs, and others can make them with red and white – but because it’s inherited cleverly through the female chromosome, they can’t combine those pigs to make that green olive.

The red -necked eggs were developed to filter out finches, with a green color that cuckoo finches could not.

The eggs are developed to be better at filtering out finches, with a green color that cuckoo finches cannot match.

“Maternal inheritance is the reason they can’t emulate that deep olive green,” Spottiswoode told AFP.

That puts the cuckoo finch at an evolutionary risk – their prinias rivals can inherit the genetic talents of both parents to produce difficult eggs.

“We’ll probably see the emergence of egg shells that can’t move cuckoo finches to replace other types of naive finches,” Spottiswoode said.

Although now, “there are many misconceptions” spoken by cuckoo finches, and when the prinias see a deception, they spear the egg and throw it out of the nest.

But if the eggs do not appear until they fall, the parents will lose the ability to see the deception even more in their nest.

“It’s really nice to have this beautiful change at the egg level, and then at the chicken level as if the hosts are very stupid and feed a chicken that isn’t like their own,” Spottiswoode said.


Scientists have identified the evolutionary egg shell


More information:
Genetic engineering trains a host to change – parasite coevolutionary arm race, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2022). DOI: 10.1073 / pnas.2121752119

© 2022 AFP

Directions: Green eggs and scam: Cuckoo finch may grow taller (2022, April 16) Retrieved 16 April 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-04-green-eggs-scam -cuckoo-finch.html

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