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Latest Claire Spottiswoode Stories

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2011-04-14 09:50:35

New research reveals how biological arms races between cuckoos and host birds can escalate into a competition between the host evolving new, unique egg patterns (or 'signatures') and the parasite new forgeries. Brood parasitic birds such as cuckoos lay eggs that mimic those of their hosts in an effort to trick them into accepting the alien egg and raising the cuckoo chick as one of their own. New research from the University of Cambridge has found that different bird species parasitized by...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'