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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: A Birdsong Blast From the Past
3 August 2010 7:01 pm
Living a town away is the same as being stuck decades in the past, at least according to white-crowned sparrows. Researchers played four recordings to a group of male birds in Tioga Pass, California: current songs from local white-crowned males, 30-year-old songs from local males, current songs from males that live about 50 km away, and current songs from males that live 600 km away. Current local songs elicited the most aggressive response—the males dive-bombed the speakers that played the tunes—while the birds were fairly unfazed by the far, far away songs. But the males had a very similar reaction to both the 30-year-old songs and the 50 km–away songs: They waved their wings and approached the speakers, but not as closely or fiercely. The findings, reported online tomorrow in Biology Letters, could give clues to which acoustic features—such as tempo and frequency—mark a song as threatening, and how those subtle changes affect mate competition and choice over time.
See more ScienceShots.