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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 113(3)

Fairy-wrens as a model system for studying cuckoo–host coevolution

N. E. Langmore

Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia. Email: naomi.langmore@anu.edu.au

Emu 113(3) 302-308 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MU12079
Submitted: 10 September 2012  Accepted: 23 April 2013   Published: 15 August 2013


 
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Abstract

Many malurids are major cuckoo hosts in Australia and provide an ideal opportunity to investigate cuckoo–host coevolution. Here, I (1) discuss why malurids provide a particularly tractable system for studies of cuckoo parasitism, (2) compare rates and patterns of parasitism across a range of malurid species, (3) discuss the evidence for coevolution between malurids and cuckoos and how studies of this system have advanced the study of coevolution and (4) suggest some possible directions for future research. Significantly, members of the Maluridae exhibit arguably the most advanced portfolio of defences against cuckoos of any avian brood parasite host yet discovered.



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