A revaluation of the role of food in broodmate aggression

  title={A revaluation of the role of food in broodmate aggression},
  author={Hugh Drummond},
  journal={Animal Behaviour},
  • H. Drummond
  • Published 1 March 2001
  • Biology, Psychology
  • Animal Behaviour
Food is the ecological factor assumed to drive the evolution of broodmate aggression and siblicide, but how does food actually influence agonism? Two hypotheses specify a proximate role of food in controlling aggression among avian broodmates. According to the food amount hypothesis, aggression increases with food deprivation; according to the prey size hypothesis, aggression increases when small food parcels are passed directly to chicks' mouths. The food amount hypothesis is confirmed by… 
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It is proposed that species probably do best by relying on current food amount for the truncation of sibling fighting whenever that cue allows an accurate assessment of pending competition, with brood size used mainly as an alternative or backup system.
Proximate and Ultimate Roles of Food Amount in Regulating Egret Sibling Aggression.
It is concluded that food amount has little direct influence on fighting behavior in these birds, though it consistently influences chick survival, and the proximate effects of this ecological variable must be divorced from its ultimate role.
Proximate control of siblicide in cattle egrets: a test of the food-amount hypothesis
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Siblicidal Brood Reduction: The Prey-Size Hypothesis
  • D. Mock
  • Biology
    The American Naturalist
  • 1985
In a comparison of two species of herons in a Texas colony, great egret nestlings fought 18 times more often than adjacent great blue herons during the first month, and a general hypothesis is advanced, linking adaptive siblicidal aggression to delivered food size (specifically, monopolizability).
The relative roles of hunger and size asymmetry in sibling aggression between nestling ospreys, Pandion haliaetus
The tremendous variation in the level of sibling aggression observed between broods was inversely related to brood mass asymmetry but not to condition, suggesting that siblings adjusted the rate of aggression according to thelevel of competition within their broods.
Effects of short-term hunger and competitive asymmetry on facultative aggression in nestling black guillemots Cepphus grylle
The results provide the first evidence that short-term food shortage per se acts as an initial trigger for aggression and also show that the aggressive response is complicated by factors associated with hatching and laying order.
Role of Sibling Aggression in Food Distribution to Nestling Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus Ibis)
The results are consistent with the hypothesis that monopolizable food can act as both a proximate and ultimate cause of sibling aggression and facilitate adaptive brood reduction in Cattle Egret siblings.