The Evolution of Predator Resemblance in Avian Brood Parasites

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York, JE 

jats:pPredators have profound effects on prey behavior and some adult brood parasites use predator resemblance to exploit the antipredator defenses of their hosts. Clarifying host perception of such stimuli is important for understanding the adaptive significance of adult brood parasite characteristics, and the mechanisms by which they misdirect hosts. Here I review the literature to explore the adaptive basis of predator resemblance in avian brood parasites, and natural variation in host responses to these stimuli. I also provide a framework for the information ecology of predator resemblance, which is based on the principles of signal detection theory and draws from empirical evidence from the common cuckoo, jats:italicCuculus canorus</jats:italic>, as the most widely studied system. In this species, visual and acoustic hawk-like stimuli are effective in manipulating host defenses. Overall, contrasts across host responses suggest that different modalities of information can have independent effects on hosts, and that predator resemblance takes advantage of multiple sensory and cognitive processes. Host perception of these stimuli and the degree to which they are processed in an integrated manner, and the physiological processes underlying regulation of the responses, present new avenues for brood parasitism research.</jats:p>

adaptive resemblance, imperfect mimicry, eavesdropping, perception, predator-prey, mimicry, communication, cuckoo
Journal Title
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
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Frontiers Media SA
Natural Environment Research Council (NE/M00807X/1)
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) Marie Sk?odowska-Curie actions (837838)