Retaliatory mafia behavior by a parasitic cowbird favors host acceptance of parasitic eggs.

@article{Hoover2007RetaliatoryMB,
  title={Retaliatory mafia behavior by a parasitic cowbird favors host acceptance of parasitic eggs.},
  author={Jeffrey P. Hoover and S. K. Robinson},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  year={2007},
  volume={104 11},
  pages={4479-83}
}
Why do many hosts accept costly avian brood parasitism even when parasitic eggs and nestlings differ dramatically in appearance from their own? Scientists argue that evolutionary lag or equilibrium can explain this evolutionary enigma. Few, however, consider the potential of parasitic birds to enforce acceptance by destroying eggs or nestlings of hosts that eject parasitic eggs and thereby reject parasitism. This retaliatory "mafia" behavior has been reported in one species of parasitic cuckoo… CONTINUE READING
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