Jianguo Cui

ScienceShot: Frog Songs Advertise Real Estate

Singing in the shower isn't a turn on—unless you're a frog. Male Emei music frogs (Babina daunchina) advertise their home-making skills by serenading females from inside their muddy burrows, researchers report online today in Biology Letters. These small Chinese natives, which attract females by belting out quick chirps, dig deep caverns near ponds for shelter and raising tadpoles. Males sing both inside and outside of their soggy abodes, but the tunes aren't created equal. (Listen to examples of each below.)When males belt out solos from safe inside their burrows, their calls tend to be deeper and longer, giving females a good sense of how deep the holes are and how wide their entrances may be. And the females seem to prefer studs that can keep house. The team played back recorded calls to would-be mates and found that about 70% of females hopped toward songs taken from inside a burrow rather than out.

Frog Songs

Listen to Emei music frogs try to court females.

Inside Call

Outside Call

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Posted in Plants & Animals