Splotch Watch: Mamma Knows Best When It Comes To Choosing The Nest…
Offer a Japanese quail hen a choice of four substrates on which to lay her eggs and she will invariably choose the type that provides the best camouflage for said eggs. Depending on the degree of maculation (that’s splotches, to you and me!) of the eggs, the bird will opt for either a substrate that matches the base colour of the egg (little splotching on these eggs) or that matches the shade of the maculation (lots of big splotches on these eggs). Personally, what I find most impressive about this experiment is that it shows not just that the birds have an awareness of camouflage techniques, but that they make their nest choices prior to laying, suggesting that they know and remember from previous lays what their own individual egg patterning looks like. Amazeballs!
Read the rest of the story from National Geographic here
Source: National Geographic