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Re: Little skulls & cuckoos & cowbirds



>>A previous post asked about symbiosis. [snip] In areas with low botfly
infestation, the host
rejects cowbird eggs and the cowbirds have mimetic colored eggs. Cool!>>

Ahha!  Another crazy idea strikes home(sort of).  So, in some cases, the host
benefeits from brood infestation (the hosts are, in effect, cultivating
cowbirds to kill botflies the same way we clutivated cats to kill rats) and
hosts cannot be too discriminating or they would reject their own eggs. What
sort of selective pressures are operating here?  I still think that brood
parasitism is unstable and will fall apart in a few million years, but I  am
much less sure of that than I was a week ago.

Dan