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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: 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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