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Precocial problems : shorebird chick performance in relation to weather, farming, and predation
Abstract/OtherAbstract :
All birds have in common that their offspring hatch from eggs that develop outside the mother's body, but the structural and functional state in which young birds hatch varies enormously between species. When megapode chicks emerge from their egg, buried in warm soil or decomposing litter, they are fully feathered and capable of digging themselves to the surface, walking about, keeping warm and finding their own food without any help from their parents, and they can fly within a day. At the other extreme, the chicks of most songbirds, owls and parrots hatch without any feathers, with closed eyes and poorly developed muscles, and incapable of doing much more than raise their heads and beg for food when something (a parent?) arrives at the nest, swallow, and digest. They are almost totally dependent on their parents for staying warm, detecting predators, and food acquisition. They remain so for an extended period in which they stay in the nest and, for some aspects like feeding, even beyond. Many other bird species fall at varying points in between these two extremes, both with respect to the state of the chick at hatching and to the subsequent developmental trajectory. This diversity includes multiple anatomical and physiological traits, behaviour, and parent-offspring relationships. These traits partly vary independently of each other, but there is sufficient covariation among them to distinguish a single major axis of variation, which is known as the altricial-precocial spectrum (Nice 1962, Starck & Ricklefs 1998). Of the several classifications that have been proposed to subdivide this gradient, that of (Nice 1962) has become the most used (fig. 1.1).
Authors :
Schekkerman, Hans
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Contributors :
Piersma, T. Visser, G.H.
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Publisher :  [S.n.]     Type :  Dissertation     Format :  -    
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H. Schekkerman
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Languages :  en_US    
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