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Unequal distribution of limited resource induces jealous behaviours in birds
  • +6
  • lifang gao,
  • Tian-Chang Yang,
  • Shao-Xue Wang,
  • Shu-Mei Zi,
  • Qian Wang,
  • Fang-Yuan Liu,
  • Xiao-Dan Zhang,
  • Zhen-Qin Zhu,
  • Bo Du
lifang gao
Lanzhou University
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Tian-Chang Yang
Lanzhou University
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Shao-Xue Wang
Lanzhou University
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Shu-Mei Zi
Lanzhou University
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Qian Wang
Lanzhou University
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Fang-Yuan Liu
Lanzhou University
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Xiao-Dan Zhang
Lanzhou University
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Zhen-Qin Zhu
Lanzhou University
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Bo Du
Lanzhou University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Abstract

In social animals, when conspecific individuals use limited resources differently jealousy will occur. To address whether jealousy is an environmental variable underlying negative evolutionary responses to superior phenotypes, we investigated jealous behaviours in the azure-winged magpie, Cyanopica cyanus, under natural and experimental conditions. Within a triad composed of a feeder, a target and three differently-ranked third-party individuals, the target was fed exclusively to experimentally imitate a scene of uneven resource distribution. Three jealousy-type behaviours were exhibited by the third-party (i.e., raiding and assaulting the target, ingratiating themselves with the feeder) and target (expelling and flaunting the worm to third-party, ingratiating itself with the feeder), respectively, that were significantly affected by their social ranks. It suggests that uneven distribution of limited resources should account for the occurrence of jealous behaviours, and that jealousy may function as a reverse evolutionary force to neutralize the potentially too quick diffusion of superior phenotypic traits.