The evolution of egg colour and patterning in birds

@article{Kilner2006TheEO,
  title={The evolution of egg colour and patterning in birds},
  author={Rebecca M. Kilner},
  journal={Biological Reviews},
  year={2006},
  volume={81}
}
  • R. Kilner
  • Published 2006
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Biological Reviews
Avian eggs differ so much in their colour and patterning from species to species that any attempt to account for this diversity might initially seem doomed to failure. Here I present a critical review of the literature which, when combined with the results of some comparative analyses, suggests that just a few selective agents can explain much of the variation in egg appearance. Ancestrally, bird eggs were probably white and immaculate. Ancient diversification in nest location, and hence in the… Expand
Temperature drives the evolution and global distribution of avian eggshell colour
TLDR
Evidence is shown that darker and browner eggs have indeed evolved in cold climes, and that the thermoregulatory advantage for avian eggs is a stronger selective pressure in cold climates. Expand
An Insect with Selective Control of Egg Coloration
TLDR
This study shows that individual females of the predatory stink bug Podisus maculiventris can control the pigmentation of their eggs during oviposition, as a response to environmental conditions, and offers the first example of an animal able to selectively control the color of its eggs. Expand
Clutch predation in great tinamous Tinamus major and implications for the evolution of egg color
TLDR
This work studied predation of great tinamou clutches in a lowland tropical forest and found that risk of predation was higher during incubation when the eggs are covered by the parent, than during laying when they are exposed, suggesting that predators primarily use cues from the incubating males to locate the clutch and not cue from the eggs. Expand
Variability in Avian Eggshell Colour: A Comparative Study of Museum Eggshells
TLDR
The majority of bird species share similar background eggshell colours, while the greatest variability among species aligns with differences along a red-brown to blue axis that most likely corresponds with variation in the presence and concentration of two tetrapyrrole pigments responsible for eggshell coloration. Expand
Are avian eggshell colours effective intraspecific communication signals in the Muscicapoidea? A perceptual modelling approach
TLDR
A photoreceptor noise-limited colour opponent model of avian perception is applied to assess a necessary corollary of any intraspecific signalling hypothesis, namely that individual birds are able to discriminate between colours of eggs in different conspecific clutches. Expand
Parents, predators, parasites, and the evolution of eggshell colour in open nesting birds
TLDR
There is some support for the hypothesis that brood parasitism may select for high inter-clutch variation in eggshell colour to facilitate egg recognition and for the blackmail hypothesis, which suggests that females lay colourful eggshells to coerce males into providing additional care during incubation. Expand
Avian eggshell coloration: new perspectives on adaptive explanations
TLDR
Evidence from taxa as divergent as sparrowhawks and great tits indicates that protoporphyrin pigments responsible for maculation have a structural function in compensating for eggshell thinning, as caused by calcium stress, and, more recently, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane. Expand
Correlated evolution of nest and egg characteristics in birds
TLDR
There has been a remarkable level of correlated evolution between the nest and egg characteristics of birds, which supports scenarios of correlational selection on both of these extended avian phenotypes. Expand
Eggshell Conspicuousness is Related to Paternal Brood Patch Vascularisation in the American Thrashers
TLDR
It is shown that the degree of male brood patch vascularisation is directly related to relative paternal incubation effort in more than 300 North American breeding birds, which suggests that American thrasher species that possess both conspicuous eggs and brood patches, have most likely evolved to keep these conspicuous nest contents concealed, thereby reducing risk of visual detection. Expand
Reflectance and artificial nest experiments of reptile and bird eggs imply an adaptation of bird eggs against ultraviolet
TLDR
This study measured white immaculate eggs from four species of turtle and three species of birds by spectrometer, and indicated that the UV reflectance of bird eggs consistently exhibited peaks and troughs in waveform that obviously differed from that of turtle eggs, which rising gradually from 300 to 400 nm. Expand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 103 REFERENCES
Evolution of bird eggs in the absence of cuckoo parasitism.
  • D. Lahti
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2005
TLDR
Examination of two independent introductions of the African village weaverbird to islands where selection on egg appearance traits is expected to differ markedly from that of the source populations shows that between-individual variation and within-clutch consistency in egg appearance have both decreased, as has the incidence of spotting, relative to the source population in Africa. Expand
Inheritance and variation in eggshell patterning in the great tit Parus major
TLDR
It is concluded that this is the first demonstration of female sex–linked inheritance of avian eggshell patterning, so raising the probability that such a system operates in egg mimics and their hosts. Expand
Co-evolutionary dynamics of egg appearance in avian brood parasitism
TLDR
The model analyses show that a conventional view of an arms race - 'parasites chasing their hosts escaping from the parasites' is realized in the early stage of the dynamics, but the distributions of egg appearance finally converge to discrete point-distributions (polymorphism) even when any continuous distributions are used as the initial state. Expand
Why are birds' eggs speckled?
TLDR
It was found that pigment spots specifically demarcated thinner areas of shell, with darker spots marking yet thinner shell than paler spots, so accounting for the eggshell's characteristic spot patterns. Expand
A comparative analysis of the evolution of variation in appearance of eggs of European passerines in relation to brood parasitism
TLDR
The use of the independent comparative method strengthens the hypothesis that the evolution of egg patterns in hosts is associated with different stages of coevolution with the brood parasite. Expand
Are Unusually Colored Eggs a Signal to Potential Conspecific Brood Parasites?
TLDR
Here, game theory is used to show that the signaling function of pale eggs can be evolutionarily stable and resistant to cheating and to demonstrate that such a signal can only be maintained under strict conditions. Expand
How precise is egg discrimination in weaverbirds?
TLDR
Results are consistent with the hypothesis that interindividual egg variation in this species facilitates offspring recognition and is a counteradaptation to either interspecific or intraspecific brood parasitism. Expand
Cowbirds and Other Brood Parasites
TLDR
It is shown that in order to manage cowbirds without further damaging delicate balances in host-parasite relationships, it is necessary to understand such factors as behavior, reproduction, population dynamics, and response to landscape patterns. Expand
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE COLOUR OF TURDINE EGGS
TLDR
There is no reason to think that the eggs of small passerine birds are warningly coloured, and a series of species nesting in shallower holes, niches and recesses, in which the eggs are progressively more spotted the more open the nest, suggests an adaptive gradient. Expand
Evolution of host egg mimicry in a brood parasite, the great spotted cuckoo
TLDR
Spectrophotometric techniques are used for the first time to quantify mimicry of parasitic eggs for eight different host species and suggest that colouration of Cl. glandarius eggs is an apomorphic trait, and that variation between eggs laid in South African and European host nests is due to genetic isolation among these populations and not due to variation in colouring of host eggs. Expand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...