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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: Whisper While You Lurk
5 October 2011 4:34 pm
If you want to upset a rival, try whispering. That's a piece of advice that seems to work for dark-eyed juncos, a small, grayish sparrow common in North American forests. Males of this species are more likely to tick off other males when they chirp a soft, complex song than when they blast a loud, territorial song, according to research published this month in The American Naturalist. Males that heard a recording of the quiet song actively searched for the offending male, an encounter that could lead to a fight in the wild, especially during breeding season. Males that heard the loud song, meanwhile, often ignored it. Whispered songs are usually meant for females during courtship, the researchers say, so when another male hears it, he thinks someone is trying to steal his mate right from under his beak.
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