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The Journal of experimental biology

A neural basis for password-based species recognition in an avian brood parasite.


PMID 28420657

Abstract

Obligate avian brood parasites are raised by heterospecific hosts and, therefore, lack crucial early exposure to relatives and other conspecifics. Yet, young brood parasites readily recognize and affiliate with others of their own species upon independence. One solution to this social recognition paradox is the ontogenetic 'password' mechanism used by obligate parasitic brown-headed cowbirds (