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The effect of egg size on growth and survival of the Tree Sparrow Passer montanus nestlings

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Abstract:

The paper analyses the effect of egg dimensions (volume, breadth, and length) on the growth and development of Tree Sparrow nestlings on successive days of life. Egg size did not influence nestling mortality. It was found that for most days of nestling life, the mean volume and breadth of eggs were positively correlated with the mean mass of nestlings in the nest. Similarly, the deviation of the volume and breadth of a particular egg from the mean egg volume and breadth in the clutch was positively correlated with the deviation of nestling mass from the mean nestling mass in the nest. Nestling growth and development in terms of asymptotic mass (g), maximum growth rate (g/day), tarsus length, and longest remex length were also positively correlated with egg size. The effect of egg size was particularly pronounced in the period of termination of intensive growth rate, development of thermoregulation, and feather development. It is possible that larger eggs contain more microelements, hormones, antioxidants, and vitamins.

Keywords: EGG SIZE; NESTLING GROWTH; PASSER MONTANUS; SURVIVAL; TREE SPARROW

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3161/0001645044213910

Publication date: 2004-12-01

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