Volume 43 Issue 5
Sep.  2022
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Manuel Soler, Francisco Ruiz-Raya, Lucía Sánchez-Pérez, Juan Diego Ibáñez-Álamo, Juan José Soler. Functional explanation of extreme hatching asynchrony: Male Manipulation Hypothesis. Zoological Research, 2022, 43(5): 843-850. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2021.455
Citation: Manuel Soler, Francisco Ruiz-Raya, Lucía Sánchez-Pérez, Juan Diego Ibáñez-Álamo, Juan José Soler. Functional explanation of extreme hatching asynchrony: Male Manipulation Hypothesis. Zoological Research, 2022, 43(5): 843-850. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2021.455

Functional explanation of extreme hatching asynchrony: Male Manipulation Hypothesis

doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2021.455
#Authors contributed equally to this work
Funds:  This work was supported by the Consejería de Economía, Innovación, Ciencia y Empleo, Junta de Andalucía (research project CVI-6653 to M.S.)
More Information
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: msoler@ugr.es
  • Received Date: 2022-03-16
  • Accepted Date: 2022-08-22
  • Published Online: 2022-08-25
  • Publish Date: 2022-09-18
  • Hatching asynchrony in birds is considered an adaptation to facilitate brood reduction because under conditions of food scarcity, the smallest nestling usually dies soon after hatching, thereby minimizing parental effort. However, in species with extreme hatching asynchrony, the last hatchlings paradoxically experience a very low probability of survival and death can take so long that it can hardly be considered an adaptation. Here, we propose and experimentally tested a new adaptive hypothesis explaining the brood reduction paradox, namely the “Male Manipulation Hypothesis”. Our hypothesis suggests that by inducing asynchronous hatching, females increase the feeding requirements of the brood, which will induce males to increase provisioning effort. In addition, females may extend the period of male manipulation by feeding the smallest nestling just enough to sustain life. Our study showed that male common blackbirds (Turdus merula) increased their effort (i.e., number of food items per hour) in experimental asynchronous broods compared to synchronous broods, while females reduced their contribution, as predicted by the hypothesis.
  • #Authors contributed equally to this work
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