Navigation Links
'Virtual mates' reveal role of romance in parrot calls
Date:8/3/2010

Parrots are famed for their ability to mimic sounds and now researchers have used 'virtual mates' to discover if female parrots judge male contact calls when deciding on a mate. The research, published in Ethology, challenges traditional understandings of the difference between birds 'songs' and 'calls'.

Parrots are among the few species of bird to have developed the ability to quickly learn and mimic new sounds, but the evolutionary reason for this ability is little understood. The Californian based team used a species of budgerigar to discover if the ability to mimic new calls is linked to courtship and mate choice.

"We wanted to know whether a female budgie pays attention to a male's call when she first meets him and if she uses that information when deciding to mate," said senior author Dr Nancy Burley from the University of California. "If so the question is: are females attracted to males that produce calls similar to her own?"

The problem facing the team was that because budgerigars are quick vocal learners a male presented with a female will quickly adapt their call to imitate the female. For the study to be successful it was crucial that the female was able to hear and evaluate the male's call before the male had the chance to adapt his call.

To get around this problem the team developed 'virtual mates' by installing a series of monitors showing videos of male budgerigars dubbed with different calls. Each monitor had a pressure activated perch which would start the clip when the female landed on it.

In each experiment a female was presented with two monitors, each playing the same video but one had been dubbed with a call similar to her own. Budgerigars are intelligent and highly visual animals, yet the females in this experiment readily interacted with the video images as if they were live males.

The results revealed that female budgerigars are attracted to males which produce calls similar to their own call but increase further in similarity during courtship.

Traditionally biologists have focused their research on song birds and it is well established that songs are used by these species to attract mates and defend territory. Researchers have assumed that 'calls' differ to 'songs," however this research challenges that traditional assumption.

"In our study females listen to variations in calls and use that information as a basis for mate choice. This suggests that songs and calls may not be the different categories they have always been thought to be", concluded Burley. "While we don't yet fully understand 'why parrots parrot', we now know that the answer to this question parallels, in some respects, that of 'why birds sing'."


'/>"/>

Contact: Ben Norman
Lifesciencenews@wiley.com
44-124-377-0375
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Virtual Global Highlights Top Ten Misconceptions about Cloud Computing
2. Virtual reality and other technologies offer hope
3. New Virtual Program for Parents of Children with ADD / ADHD
4. Virtually Everyone Should Get a Flu Shot: CDC
5. President Obama Gets Virtual Colonoscopy (CT Colonography) But Medicare Denies CTC Coverage to Seniors
6. CT and MRI Images Now Seen in a 3D Virtual Reality World
7. Virtual Dental Home to Provide Care to Underserved Communities in California
8. First Virtual Optical Store Serves Military Personnel
9. China VoIP & Digital Telecom Subsidiary, Beijing PowerUnique Technologies, Wins Virtualization Project Bid for Peking Universitys Third Hospital
10. Virtual colonoscopy allows detection of unsuspected cancers beyond colon
11. Virtual Colonoscopy Catches Cancers Outside the Colon
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
'Virtual mates' reveal role of romance in parrot calls
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health Supply is ... of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs that have ... Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia Root Extract ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Experts from the American Institutes for Research ... June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. , AIR experts ... planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR researchers will be ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... to fit their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. ... fully customizable and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a ... area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June ... with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking ... common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Any dentist who has made an implant ... process. Many of them do not even offer this as ... high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE able to ... a high cost that the majority of today,s patients would ... Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and inventor ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LOS ANGELES , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... (NASDAQ: CAPR ), a biotechnology company ... first-in-class therapeutics, today announced that patient enrollment in ... progrEssion in Duchenne) has exceeded 50% of its ... its enrollment in the third quarter of 2016, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new affiliate with operations headquartered in ... America . ... ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: