51 research outputs found

    Differential Fruit Consumption Of Two Melastomataceae By Birds In Serra Da Mantiqueira, Southeastern Brazil

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    In this study we report on the consumption of two syntopic Melastomataceae species by birds in a lower montane forest in Monte Verde, southeastern Brazil. The species of frugivores were identified and characterized by their methods of capture and consumption of fruits. We also provide information on abundance, phenology of plants and fruit characteristics of the two Melastomataceae species. The 13 observed species of birds formed two statistically distinct frugivorous groups with taxonomic and behavioral differences. Five of seven bird species that fed on L. aff. sublanata fruits belong to the subfamily Thraupinae and most fruits were mashed before swallowed. Four of the eight bird species that visited M. cinerascens belong to the subfamily Turdinae and all fruits were swallowed whole. Only two bird species were common visitors of both Melastomataceae species. 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    Egg Eviction Imposes a Recoverable Cost of Virulence in Chicks of a Brood Parasite

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    Background: Chicks of virulent brood parasitic birds eliminate their nestmates and avoid costly competition for foster parental care. Yet, efforts to evict nest contents by the blind and naked common cuckoo Cuculus canorus hatchling are counterintuitive as both adult parasites and large older cuckoo chicks appear to be better suited to tossing the eggs and young of the foster parents. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here we show experimentally that egg tossing imposed a recoverable growth cost of mass gain in common cuckoo chicks during the nestling period in nests of great reed warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus hosts. Growth rates of skeletal traits and morphological variables involved in the solicitation of foster parental care remained similar between evictor and non-evictor chicks throughout development. We also detected no increase in predation rates for evicting nests, suggesting that egg tossing behavior by common cuckoo hatchlings does not increase the conspicuousness of nests. Conclusion: The temporary growth cost of egg eviction by common cuckoo hatchlings is the result of constraints imposed by rejecter host adults and competitive nestmates on the timing and mechanism of parasite virulence.Michael G. Anderson, Csaba Mosk√°t, Mikl√≥s B√°n, Tom√°Ň° Grim, Phillip Cassey and Mark E. Haube
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