In Sri Lanka, a Waterbird Flips the Parenting Paradigm on its Head

When it comes to super dads in the animal kingdom, the striking-looking waterbird known as the pheasant-tailed jacana is in a universe all its own. From incubating the eggs to taking care of the young, the male of the species excels. And in a reversal of the typical roles that play out in the wild, the female plays an outsized part in defending the nest and the young from predators.

These and other previously unknown details of the nesting behavior of pheasant-tailed jacanas (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) have emerged from a study carried out in Sri Lanka’s Anawilundawa Sanctuary, one of the country’s six Ramsar sites, or wetlands of international importance.

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