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Journal Articles Journal of Experimental Biology Year : 2017

Blue petrels recognize the odor of their egg


Most studies on avian olfactory communication have focused on mate choice, and the importance of olfaction in subsequent nesting stages has been poorly explored. In particular, the role of olfactory cues in egg recognition has received little attention, despite eggs potentially being spread with parental odorous secretions known to elicit individual discrimination. Here we used behavioral choice tests to determine whether female blue petrels (Halobaena caerulea) can discriminate the odor of their own egg from the odor of a conspecific egg. Females preferentially approached the odor of their own egg, suggesting that blue petrels can recognize their own egg using odor cues. This finding raises the question of the adaptive value of this mechanism, and may inspire further research on odor-based egg discrimination in species suffering brood parasitism.
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hal-04153785 , version 1 (06-07-2023)





Sarah Leclaire, Vincent Bourret, Francesco Bonadonna. Blue petrels recognize the odor of their egg. Journal of Experimental Biology, 2017, 220 (17), pp.3022-3025. ⟨10.1242/jeb.163899⟩. ⟨hal-04153785⟩
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