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This may not make sense at first, since the poor guy goes to so much trouble, but you were correct if you answered "Yes!"  Can you think of a reason why? If you answered that it either gave him energy because he cannot go out to eat ....you would be a little bit right...but that is not the real reason.  If you thought that it gave him some advantage for more females and more eggs you would be right on!

This is a bit more complicated....but the male will eat the older eggs, because the female does not choose to lay her eggs near the older ones.  Exactly why females prefer nests with the youngest freshest eggs is another one of those unsolved mysteries.  But scientists have learned that in other species males often put more effort in caring for larger broods or families.  If the female deposits her eggs with other eggs that are similar in age then all of those eggs will develop and hatch fairly close together.  Thus eggs in larger broods may benefit from a safety-in-numbers effect!  Researchers have found that since females won't lay eggs near old clutches of eggs, 'egg-laying' space in the nest is wasted if old eggs remain.  Therefore, in order to maximize the potential number of eggs, the male will eat the older ones and keep the area inviting for the new ones (this also gives him some added energy,  since he is so busy he can't go 'out to eat' much!).
 

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