Fertilization in birds

Graham J. Wishart, A. Janet Horrocks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The 9672 known species of birds (Sibley 1994) are widely distributed over every global habitat and, as might therefore be expected, display great diversity in their morphology, physiology and behaviour. This diversity is perhaps best manifested in avian breeding systems. In terms of mating behaviour, some species breed in small polygynous groups, others are relatively solitary, meeting only to mate in a ‘lek’, whilst more than 90% of avian species form breeding pairs, either in isolation or in colonies (Lack 1968). Notwithstanding, ‘cuckoldry’ is a normal feature of the mating behaviour of many of these apparently ‘monogamous’ pairs (Birkhead and Møller 1992a).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFertilization in protozoa and metazoan animals
Subtitle of host publicationcellular and molecular aspects
EditorsJuan J. Tarín, Antonio Cano
Place of PublicationBerlin
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783642583018
ISBN (Print)9783642635304, 9783540670933
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2000


  • Acrosome reaction
  • Sperm storage
  • Domestic fowl
  • Fertile period
  • Vitelline membrane


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