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Complex domestic conflicts in a bird family

Gadagkar, Raghavendra and Arathi, HS (1995) Complex domestic conflicts in a bird family. In: Current Science, 68 (7). pp. 676-677.


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Birds exhibit, more than any other group of higher animals, such noble virtues as monogamy, pair-bonding for life, male parental care and cooperative efforts by both parents in nest building and care of the chicks. Not surprisingly, these virtues of the birds are often extolled by poets and philosophers, especially while admonishing fellow humans. However, as scientists probe deeper into the secrets of bird family life, many unexpected domestic conflicts are coming to the fore. A particularly devastating revelation has come from the recent use of DNA technology in determining the parentage of chicks being reared in nests of monogamously paired parents, much as forensic laboratories have begun to do in cases of disputed parentage among humans. Many species that were fondly thought to be monogamous have turned out to be rather promiscuous. Females from apparently monogamous pairs often mate, on the sly as it were, with males from neighbouring monogamous pairs and lay at least some of the eggs that are not sired by the partners who help them in parental duties.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Current Science
Publisher: Indian Academy of Science
Additional Information: Copyright of this Article belongs to Indian Academy of Sciences.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2006
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:31
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/8511

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