How strong are eggs of the common cuckoo Cuculus canorus?

@article{Picman2020HowSA,
  title={How strong are eggs of the common cuckoo Cuculus canorus?},
  author={Jaroslav Picman and Marcel Honza},
  journal={Folia Zoologica},
  year={2020},
  volume={70},
  pages={20109.1 - 7}
}
Abstract. The common cuckoo Cuculus canorus is an obligate brood parasite that lays its eggs in the nests of small passerines. It has long been hypothesized that cuckoo eggs should be structurally stronger than host eggs or those of non-parasitic cuckoos to reduce chances of breakage during laying, to prevent accidental damage during incubation and/or to hinder their rejection through puncture ejection by the host. Therefore, we analysed selected characteristics of a sample of freshly laid eggs… 

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 29 REFERENCES

Responses of great reed warblers Acrocephalus arundinaceus to experimental brood parasitism: the effects of a cuckoo Cuculus canorus dummy and egg mimicry

TLDR
Great reed warblers in the authors' heavily parasitised population are capable of detecting brood parasitism in their clutch by identifying the parasitic egg, and the efficiency of this identification depends mainly on the mimicry of the foreign egg.

Eggshell strength of an obligate brood parasite: a test of the puncture resistance hypothesis

TLDR
There was no evidence that egg damage was associated with cuckoo egg laying, and some support for the puncture resistance hypothesis for the occurrence of thick-shelled eggs in common cuckoos Cuculus canorus.

Eggshell characteristics and yolk composition in the common cuckoo Cuculus canorus: are they adapted to brood parasitism?

TLDR
The results suggest that cuckoo females increase the size, growth rate and competitive ability of their young by providing them with more nutrients and more dietary antioxidants for embryonic development, and not through elevated yolk testosterone or antibody levels.

How to hatch from an egg of great structural strength. A study of the Common Cuckoo

TLDR
It is suggested that hatching is more difficult for a Cuckoo than for a Great Reed Warbler and that Cuckoos possess several mechanisms to overcome the problems of hatching from a structurally strong egg.

Egg‐morphs and host preference in the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus): an analysis of cuckoo and host eggs from European museum collections

TLDR
Support is provided for the ‘nest site hypothesis’ which states that each cuckoo female parasitizes a group of host species with similar eggs or nest sites, which indicates that cuckoos also parasitize several species whose nest sites are similar to those of their main host.

Breeding success of common cuckoos Cuculus canorus parasitising four sympatric species of Acrocephalus warblers

TLDR
Cuckoos parasitising four sympatric species of Acrocephalus warblers in southern Moravia, Czech Republic showed a high level of parasitism, egg mimicry and breeding success, but the cuckoo chicks survived better in great reed warbler nests, resulting in a breeding success of 30.4%, as compared to 16.4% in nests of the reing warbler.

Are blackcaps current winners in the evolutionary struggle against the common cuckoo?

TLDR
It is predicted that the intraclutch variation in egg appearance should be generally low in all individuals, and regarding conspecific eggs, rejection decisions should be highly dependent on the degree of mimicry between parasitic and host eggs, and found support for these predictions.

Keeping eggs warm: thermal and developmental advantages for parasitic cuckoos of laying unusually thick-shelled eggs

TLDR
There was a thermal and hence a developmental advantage for brood parasitic cuckoos of laying thick-shelled eggs, providing another possible explanation for the unusually thick- shelled eggs of obligate brood parasites and earlier hatching of cuckoo eggs compared to those of the host.

Do Common Whitethroats (Sylvia communis) discriminate against alien eggs?

TLDR
The experiments show that Whitethroats are persistent rejecters of alien eggs at the study site, in the light of the host selection and host-parasite coevolution hypotheses.

Is greater eggshell density an alternative mechanism by which parasitic cuckoos increase the strength of their eggs?

TLDR
Comparisons to two control groups demonstrated that the parasitic cuckoos have eggshells of significantly higher density than would be expected for their size, supporting the hypothesis that the higher eggshell density is an alternative mechanism by which some cuckoo increase the strength of their eggs.