INTERESTING: Superb Fairywrens’ “secret password”

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Answer: Superb Fairywrens

In an incredibly clever bid to protect their offspring from parasitic bird species that would dump their young on superb fairywrens and flee, the wrens consistently use special vocalisations while the young wrens are still inside their eggs. Before parasitic birds like the Horsfield’s bronze-cuckoo can drop their eggs off in the nest, the wren’s own babies already know the secret vocalisation pattern by heart.

When all the eggs hatch, the wren chicks incorporate the secret vocalisation pattern into their begging for food and the mother provides the chicks that produce the vocalisation pattern the most accurately with the most food. The parasite’s chicks, on the other hand, don’t know the vocalisation pattern and the mother wren neglects them.

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I love useless factoids. 

Now I need it on Final Jeopardy!


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