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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: One Ribbit Too Many
4 August 2011 2:00 pm
Female animals flock to the ridiculous: the gangly antlered moose, the blue-bottomed baboon, and the garish peacock. But a new study suggests that túngara frog (Physalaemus pustulosus) females from Latin America keep that machismo posturing from turning too bizarre. Males of this species serenade their would-be mates late into the night, mixing high-pitched "whines" with short "clucks." Females, in turn, prefer the suitors that cluck the most but only up to a point. Males, it seems, overdo their arias during long song-a-thons by continuously trying to one-up rivals, and their amphibian Aphrodites aren't able to follow along. The more complex the songs get, in fact, the less the ladies can distinguish good from poor singers, researchers report online today in Science. That limitation may stop the frog princes from evolving increasingly elaborate songs, preventing the inevitable all-frog review of Madame Butterfly. Shortcomings in female perception may similarly slow the ambitious displays of males in a host of other species, the team suggests, although moose haven't seen to have gotten the message.
See more ScienceShots.