Gape coloration reliably reflects immunocompetence of barn swallow ( Hirundo rustica ) nestlings

@inproceedings{Saino2003GapeCR,
  title={Gape coloration reliably reflects immunocompetence of barn swallow ( Hirundo rustica ) nestlings},
  author={Nicola Saino and Roberto Ambrosini and Roberta Martinelli and Paola Di Ninni},
  year={2003}
}
In some passerines, parents allocate more food to offspring with the brightest red gapes, but the function of parental decisions based on offspring gape coloration is unknown. We hypothesize that gape coloration is part of a communication system where nestlings reveal their condition to attending parents, which may thus base their decisions on reliable signals of offspring reproductive value. We analyze the effects of brood size manipulation, injection with an immunogen and food deprivation, on… CONTINUE READING

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