Arican jacana mating


Breeding
The jacana has evolved a highly unusually polyandrous mating system. One female mates with multiple males and the male alone cares for the chicks. Such a system has evolved due to a combination of two factors: firstly, the lakes that the jacana lives on are so resource-rich that the relative energy expended by the female in producing each egg is effectively negligible. Secondly the jacana, as a bird, lays eggs and eggs can be equally well incubated and cared for by a parent bird of either gender. This means that the rate-limiting factor of the jacana's breeding is the rate at which the males can raise and care for the chicks.
The male jacana incubates and rears a nest of chicks. The male African jacana has therefore evolved some remarkable adaptations for parental care, such as the ability to pick up and carry chicks underneath its wings.
African jacanas breed throughout sub-Saharan Africa. It lays four black-marked brown eggs in a floating nest.


Names
(en) African jacana
(sc) Actophilornis africanus
(nl) Lelie-loper
(af) Grootlangtoon