Crazy Cuckoos!

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Crazy Cuckoos!

  1. 1. Parasitism Hidden predators
  2. 2. Introduction • Parasitism is a symbiotic relationship in which one organism benefits while the other is harmed • Common Parasitic Organisms – Fleas, ticks, tapeworms, roundworms
  3. 3. Human Parasites • When we think of a parasite we normally think of small things that live inside or on other organisms – Ticks, Ascaris – a roundworm that can live in the human small intestine when food is ingested that is contaminated with their eggs
  4. 4. Cuckoos are parasites! • Yes Birds can be parasites! Cuckoos are a special type of parasite called a BROOD PARASITE
  5. 5. Reed Warbler feeding a Common Cuckoo chick in a nest. Notice the size difference…. One of these things is not like the other…
  6. 6. Murderer! • Female Cuckoos watch the behavior of the Reed Warblers as they build their nests and start their broods. • At the appropriate moment the mamma Cuckoo flies down to the reed warblers' nest, pushes one Reed Warbler egg out of the nest, lays an egg and flies off!
  7. 7. Sibling Rivalry • Cuckoo chicks methodically evict all host progeny from host nests. It is a much larger bird than its hosts, and needs to monopolize the food supplied by the parents.
  8. 8. Push It! • The Cuckoo chick will roll the other eggs out of the nest by pushing them with its back over the edge. • If the Reed Warbler's eggs hatch before the Cuckoo's egg, the Cuckoo chick will push the other chicks out of the nest in a similar way. • Once the Reed Warbler chicks are out of the nest, the parents completely ignore them.
  9. 9. Other Brood Parasites • A Shiny Cowbird chick being fed by a Sparrow

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