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Re: colonial nesting defense



On Sun, 6 Jul 1997 21:40:39 -0700 Sam Girouard <sampaula@pacificrim.net>
writes:

>Since at least some of the dinos nested in large groups, some sort of 
>loose,
>uncoordinated defensive behavior could indeed be postulated. Do any of 
>the
>extant colonial-nesting birds show any "advanced" or "coordinated" 
>group
>defensive behaviors? Such a situation would be a good place to start 
>looking
>for answers, rather than drawing improbable conclusions from loose 
>mammalian
>analogues.

Many colonially nesting terns and gulls will dive-bomb intruders
approaching the colony, but whether this is "coordinated" as such is
debated.  It's hard to tell in the melee whether each adult bird is
acting in its own interest, dive-bombing to push the intruder away from
its own nest only, or is coordinating its attack consciously with the
other adults to persuade the intruder to leave.  Most folks feel it's
every bird for itself.

Judy Molnar
Education Associate, Virginia Living Museum
vlmed@juno.com
jamolnar@juno.com
All questions are valid; all answers are tentative.