Wild birds fooled by 3D printed eggs thinking they’re real

May 31, 2015

Written By Sarah Zhang via Gizmodo

Maybe you’re familiar with the asshole behavior of cowbirds. Known as “brood parasites,” cowbirds lay eggs in another bird’s nest and trick the host bird into raising cowbird offspring at the expense of her own. Like I said, assholes. But birds can learn to recognize imposter eggs. That’s where 3D printing comes in.

To study how host birds, such as the American robin, reject brood parasite eggs, scientists have relied on making fake eggs. That could be eggs taken from another bird (problematic, also limited sizes and shapes) or eggs hand made from plaster or wood (not hollow and not realistic). A possible solution then? 3D printing.

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