Saturday, April 07, 2007

"You Toucha This Egg, I Breaka You Wing"


Okay, so this phrase is a take-off from a classic bumper sticker. But I just couldn't resist posting this interesting, but not psychiatric at all, article which was in the same PNAS issue as the VEGF article.

Cowbirds are one of those bird species that are too lazy to raise their own kin, so they sometimes sneak their own eggs into other species' nests, hoping that the unsuspecting host will raise the birds as their own.

TURNS OUT that after they add the foreign egg, they will hang around to make sure that the new host doesn't dump the imposter. If they do, the connected cowbirds will push the host parents' eggs out of the nest.

Otherwise, if the surrogate parents accept the offer they can't refuse and raise the little calfbirds, then the avian mafioso lets them be. Now that's a made egg.

5 comments:

Midwife with a Knife said...

Sort of related (ok, but not really), I was watching the Discovery Channel's "Planet Earth" miniseries the other day, and they were saying that Emperor penguins have such a strong urge to mother that if parent-less chicks are found, the chickless moms (of which there are several every Antarctic spring) will leap on the chicks and attempt to mother them so hard that the chicks can be killed. By the smothering mothering.

Roy said...

There are clearly some Easter themes here and in the post.

ClinkShrink said...

In prison I've met several brothers with smothering mothering. The smothering mothering causes bothersome blubbering.

(Not really, I just felt compelled to say that. Ten times. Really fast.)

Dinah said...

Look, Roy even found his own birdy pic! My Hero..... (she swoons)

jcat said...

What I like most about penguins, is that the father's take such a share of parenting that they will virtually starve themselves while mom goes off to eat. Now that is taking being a daddy seriously!