Chicks unite to increase parent-pestering, Coordinated begging extracts more food

by Limbic on November 27, 2003

From Nature:

Children accompanying their parents on Christmas shopping trips: take a tip from black-headed gull chicks, and team up with your siblings to increase pester power.

Gull nestlings put aside their differences and coordinate their begging to extract the maximum amount of regurgitated food from mum and dad, French researchers have discovered.

It flies in the face of conventional wisdom – children should fight each other for the biggest share of parental care. “Competition should increase with the number of chicks, but that’s not what we found,” says Nicolas Mathevon of Jean Monnet University in Saint-Etienne.”

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