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Black swans engage in a behaviour known as crèching or brood amalgamation. Some time after hatching, cygnets from different broods move from one family to another and so end up being reared by adults other than their genetic parents. A variety of hypotheses have been developed to explain why individuals should engage in this curious behaviour. In this paper, Ken finds that adopted cygnets are more closely related to their ‘foster’ parents than they are to most other swans in the population, raising the intriguing possibility that brood amalgamation involves close relatives.

KRAAIJEVELD, K. (2005). Black swans Cygnus atratus adopt related cygnets. Ardea 93: 163-169

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Did you know?

An adult male swan is called a cob (from Middle English cobbe (leader of a group). An adult female swan is called a pen, and baby swans are called cygnets (from the Latin word cygnus ("swan") and the Old French suffix -et ("little").
2015-05-11T02:20:03+00:00
An adult male swan is called a cob (from Middle English cobbe (leader of a group). An adult female swan is called a pen, and baby swans are called cygnets (from the Latin word cygnus ("swan") and the Old French suffix -et ("little").

The Black Swan is protected under the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Act, 1974. It is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
2015-05-11T02:23:39+00:00
The Black Swan is protected under the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Act, 1974. It is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

A colony of Black Swans in Dawlish, Devon has become so well associated with the town that the bird has been the town's emblem for
2015-05-11T02:23:29+00:00
A colony of Black Swans in Dawlish, Devon has become so well associated with the town that the bird has been the town's emblem for

The current global population of black swans is estimated to be up to 500,000 individuals.
2015-05-11T02:23:19+00:00
The current global population of black swans is estimated to be up to 500,000 individuals.

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2015-05-11T02:23:10+00:00
Black swans occur over large parts of Australia, with estimates of their range varying from 1 to 10 million square kilometers.