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Comment on “Vegetation height and egg coloration differentially affect predation rate and overheating risk: an experimental test mimicking a ground-nesting bird”1

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It is often assumed that darker colored avian eggs are more at risk from overheating in direct sunlight than paler eggs. In fact, the evidence for this lies solely in studies using unnatural pigments; studies with natural pigments find no such effect. I argue that risk of egg overheating likely affects the behaviour of birds nesting in hot environments, but there is no evidence or physical reason to expect it to have a strong influence on egg coloration.

Keywords: birds; coloration des œufs; egg coloration; egg overheating; egg pigmentation; incubation; nest attendance; oiseaux; pigmentation des œufs; présence au nid; surchauffe des œufs

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-11-01

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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