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March 25 2013

More attractive birds mother healthier chicks... even if they are rearing another animal's offspring

Better looking birds are more likely to have healthy offspring, scientists have learned.

Studies of female great tits' appearance, and the weight and immune strength of their chicks at two weeks, has revealed a direct link between the health of the infants and the 'attractiveness' of their mother.

The study of the birds (parus major), was published in a paper in BioMed Central's open access journal Frontiers in Zoology.

Researchers from Palacky University in the Czech Republic took two mothers with different patterning, and swapped their chicks.

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