Answer to Question #115719 in Biology for Jenna Schaeffer

Question #115719
In birds, how does the amount of parental care required by the offspring affect the evolution of a species’ mating system?
Expert's answer

In birds, parental care provides the optimal conditions for the growth and development of the offspring. Parents supply the offspring with food, build nests, protect the offspring from predators, etc. Birds species require different amounts and quality of care from their parents. The birds whose offspring require elevated parental care are called superaltricial and altricial. As these species require maximum care, both parents are involved in the process. The feature occurs in the majority of birds species. Mutual care significantly increases the survival rate of the offspring and contributing to efficient reproductive success. As a result, choosing an ideal mate who will provide excellent care gives an evolutionary advantage. These characteristics affect mating behaviour in most birds species. As a result, these mating systems were preserved by natural selection during the process of evolution improving the survival of the species.

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