No sexual differences in embryonic period in jackdaws Corvus monedula and black-headed gulls Larus ridibundus

H.M. Salomons*, Wendt Mueller, C. Dijkstra, C.M. Eising, S. Verhulst

*Corresponding author for this work

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Offspring survival probability usually decreases with hatching order, especially in species with brood reduction. Brood reduction in combination with a sex difference in embryonic period (the time between laying and hatching of an egg) can potentially have a profound effect on sex allocation, with higher investment in chicks of the early hatching sex because they are more likely to survive to fledge. Two recent studies reported sex differences in the embryonic period, but compared embryonic period between, rather than within, clutches, which does not control for possible environmental effects on both clutch sex ratio and embryonic period. We compared the embryonic period of sons and daughters within clutches in jackdaws Comas monedula and black-headed gulls Larus ridibundus, two species with frequent brood reduction, and found no sexual difference in embryonic period. This suggests that sex allocation is not affected by sex differences in embryonic period in these species, but more studies are required to verify whether this is a general pattern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-22
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Avian Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2006


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