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Re: nest predation

On Sun, 31 May 1998, chris brochu wrote:
> It's also
> problematic that nest parasitism of this nature occurs only within certain
> bird groups - nonavian reptiles don't do this at all, 

To speculate: nest parasitism may only be appropriate in limitited
circumstances.  For example, avian dinosaurs require constant oparental
investment.  What would be the point of laying your egg in lay and leave
parent's nest.  I know some lizards and snakes defend their nest--some
even incubate the eggs via shivering--but these behaviors are much more
common in avians.

> exception of turtles piggybacking croc nests - and in this case, they're
> just coopting some of the nest heat.

Well, they might also benefit from nest defense of croc mummy.

> This means that one cannot actually
> optimize nest parasitism on a tree such that nonavian theropods would be
> predicted to show nest parasitism.  Still, it could happen.

I would argue the opposite.  Nest parasitism--trusting your eggs to other
parents--would be expected to be more common among taxa which practice
active parental investment in the raising of their offspring.  Is that
non-avian dinosaurs?  At least some, if not most, if not all, right?