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No evidence that kin selection increases the honesty of begging signals in birds

Bebbington, K. & Kingma, S. A. Aug-2017 In : Evolution Letters. 1, 3, p. 132-137 6 p.

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Providing plausible mechanisms to explain variation in the honesty of information communicated through offspring begging signals is fundamental to our understanding of parent–offspring conflict and the evolution of family life. A recently published research article used comparative analyses to investigate two long-standing hypotheses that may explain the evolution of begging behavior. The results suggested that direct competition between offspring for parental resources decreases begging honesty, whereas indirect, kin-selected benefits gained through saving parental resources for the production of future siblings increase begging honesty. However, we feel that evidence for a role of kin selection in this context is still missing. We present a combination of arguments and empirical tests to outline alternative sources of interspecific variation in offspring begging levels and discuss avenues for further research that can bring us closer to a complete understanding of the evolution of offspring signaling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-137
Number of pages6
JournalEvolution Letters
Volume1
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug-2017

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