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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
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ScienceShot: Old Sparrows Are Mocking Birds
19 August 2011 1:13 pm
If you get too close to an old song sparrow (Melospiza melodia), prepare to be mocked. The birds mimic elements of the songs of those who encroach on their territory—a taunt known as song sharing that says, "I've got my eye on you." Young birds don't take part in this parody, however, according to a study to be published in a forthcoming issue of Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. Instead, audio recordings reveal that they sing a random tune. Song sharing often leads to a fight, and the researchers suspect that the youngsters don't do it because they're insecure about their battle prowess. The old timers, on the other hand, know that they can hold their own.
Sounds of Old Song Sparrows
An older song sparrow sings a song with highly shared elements.
A neighboring sparrow mimics the older sparrow's song.
A young sparrow sings its own song.
See more ScienceShots.