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10 Animal Cheats

1. CUCKOO BIRD

This is truly the mother of all cheaters the female cuckoo bird will not only raid the nest of her warbler neighbor to steal eggs, she then leaves her own eggs behind to replace what she just ransacked. In a true testament of nature vs. nurture, despite being abandoned, the baby cuckoo bird is just as much of a con artist as its birth mother. Thanks to incubating an egg similar in appearance to the other warbler eggs, the baby cuckoo bird blends among the other chicks and is therefore treated and fed like one of the family. You’d think with the baby cuckoo bird’s rapid growth (we’re talking 10 times the size of its foster mother!) the warbler would finally take notice that something is amiss. But hey, a mother’s love can really turn a blind eye.

Image: Murrelet Halterman, Southern Sierra Research Station / fws.gov

Related:
7 Animals Smarter Than Humans
9 Animal Thieves
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Read more: Fun, Nature, Nature & Wildlife,

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66 comments

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7:05AM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

I adore foxes.

3:20PM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

Thanks

7:57AM PDT on Apr 13, 2012

Pictures were great.

10:46AM PDT on Apr 12, 2012

love it

8:47PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

I do feel sorry for warblers. I think there was some evidence that if they reject the cuckoo bird, then the actual cuckoo mother tends to attack the nest and the non-cuckoo siblings. So, the warbler is kind of forced to accept the cuckoo chick.

12:58AM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

They aren't cheats, they are just surviving to live. I love the strong message that the orangutans have for humans.

6:02PM PDT on Mar 27, 2012

Animals are out there to survive. I think it hardly fair, therefore, to compare an animal with a human--or rather human calling animals "cheaters." When humans straighten out and fly right, then they can speak. Until then, they have no right to judge.any animal and should just shaddup.

5:34PM PDT on Mar 27, 2012

Interesting but it is more accurate if one talks about adaptations for animal survival than cheating-the fox breaking open the egg is great, purrhaps I will ask him to crack a few open for me next time...Nature has a variety of methods for species to survive!

2:27PM PDT on Mar 27, 2012

Thanks for the great facts. Always nice to learn while reading.

4:17AM PDT on Mar 27, 2012

I have to watch my dogs at feeding time. They will steal the kitties food if I am not paying attention.

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