Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 163–168 | Cite as

Evidence of kin-selected tolerance by nestlings in a siblicidal bird

  • D. J. Anderson
  • R. E. Ricklefs


Behaviorally dominant members of blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii) broods can effect siblicide by restricting access of subordinate siblings to parents providing food. In spite of their capacity for siblicide, dominant chicks permit subordinates to feed during short-term food shortage; in fact, the proportion of the food that the dominant takes is independent of the total amount delivered in older chicks. A model of optimal food distribution suggests that dominant chicks maximize their inclusive fitness with this pattern, rather than by satisfying their own food requirements and leaving what remains for the subordinate sibling. The indirect reproductive potential represented by a chick's sibling appears to have influenced the evolution of siblicidal brood reduction in this species.

Key words

Siblicide Kin selection Gálapagos Islands Blue-footed booby Sula nebouxii 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. J. Anderson
    • 1
  • R. E. Ricklefs
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyWake Forest UniversityWinstonSalemUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Leidy LaboratoryUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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