Selfless parents

日期:2019-03-08 06:12:11 作者:柳次 阅读:

GREAT tits that allow themselves to be “eaten out of house and home” by their chicks are more likely to see the job through, say biologists in Estonia. Peeter Hõrak at the Institute of Zoology in Tartu and his colleagues measured the condition of females with eight-day-old chicks and watched the nests to see which mothers would abandon their young. They found that birds that stayed weighed 5 per cent less than deserters, having come close to starvation—even though food was plentiful (Oecologia, vol 119, p 293). “Deserters sacrificed their nestlings for the sake of improving their own condition,” says Hõrak,