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Re: Cain and Abel syndrome
>More specifically, it is probably related to maintaining a proper
>ballance in the predator/prey ratio. (usually 3%-8% of all taxa
>in any particular ecosystem are carnivores).
>Omnivorous birds (the majority of all extant avians) show little
>inclination to this culling effect.
This could well be true, but I think that simple explanations such as
survival in a nest can apply better in a situation like this. Usually
the oldest individual in a nest is the strongest and selective-wise the
strongest individual is the individual that you want to pass on its
genes. It can relate somewhat to the food-web in that it hardly happens
in areas with an abundance of food, but as I pointed out it is also an
insurance policy: if one more egg than necessary is laid and the food
conditions are right, the species can get a stronger foothold in the
ecosystem; this can work the other way around if their is not a lot of
food and an excess of predators would cause a die-off related to
over-predation of food. It is related somewhat to the predator-prey
ratio, but I think it is probably more closely related to the survival
of a species and also to the bablance of the ecosystem.
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