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Brood Parasites

APBIO-N6Z36D

Brood parasites are organisms that rely on others to raise their young. The strategy appears among a wide variety of animals, including insects, fish, and birds. A common strategy of the brood parasite is to trick a host parent to raise the parasite's young as if it belonged to the host.

For example, the cuckoo will lay its egg in nests belonging to the reed warbler seemingly with the intent for the warbler to hatch and feed the cuckoo hatchling.

Which of the following predicts the MOST effective strategy utilized by the female cuckoo for reducing the risk of egg loss?

A

Distributing her eggs amongst many host nesting sites of the same species.

B

Distributing her eggs into nests with the largest number of host eggs.

C

Waiting to distribute her eggs into host nesting sites until the host's offspring have hatched.

D

Selecting host nesting sites based on the similarity in coloration and patterning between the eggs of the cuckoo and potential host parent.