Earth Science News  





. Female Birds Boost Up Their Eggs When Hearing Sexy Song

Male birdsong has long been known to attract females and influence mate choice decisions and even induce an alteration in the offspring's sex ratio.
by Staff Writers
Seewiesen, Germany (SPX) Jun 09, 2006
In a new study published in the latest issue of Ethology researchers show that female songbirds can alter the size of eggs and possibly the sex of their chicks according to how they perceive their mate's quality. The researchers played back attractive ("sexy") songs and less attractive control songs of male canaries to female domesticated canaries.

When the females started egg-laying they varied the size of their eggs in the nest according to the attractiveness of the male's song. That is, the more attractive the song, the larger the eggs.

However it is remarkable that while larger eggs were more likely to contain male offspring in natural environments, in the experiment there was no difference in brood sex ratio between the different songs played to the females, which suggests different levels of female control.

Male birdsong has long been known to attract females and influence mate choice decisions and even induce an alteration in the offspring's sex ratio. This study by Leitner et al. now shows experimentally that hearing attractive song also has a selective impact on female physiology.

45 female domesticated canaries participated in this study that was a collaboration of Royal Holloway, University of London and the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen and Radolfzell in Germany.

The birds were kept in large aviaries where their daily behaviour was monitored in a colony before they were tested in the song experiments. The females showed a remarkable consistency in their behavioural and reproductive performance and the song stimuli alone were sufficient to elicit a profound physiological change. This study further highlights the importance of behavioural stimuli for reproductive physiology. Bathroom Pavarottis beware.

Related Links
Royal Holloway, University of London
Max Planck Institute for Ornithology

The Mini-Dinosaurs From The Harz Mountains
Bonn, Germany (SPX) Jun 09, 2006
When unusually small dinosaur fossils were found in a quarry on the northern edge of the Harz Mountains in 1998, it was initially assumed that these were the remains of a group of young dinosaurs. This was a fallacy, as the Bonn palaeontologist, Dr. Martin Sander, recently discovered.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Sinking Levees
  • Future Hurricane Disasters May Become More Costly
  • Indonesia to make community grants for quake reconstruction
  • Tough start for Indonesia's quake babies

  • Annan Warns Of Poverty And Conflict As Deserts Expand
  • Researcher Offers Insights On Development Of Arid Semiarid Landscapes
  • Global Greenhouse Cooked Up A Hot Stew Of Life
  • Climate change could fuel fiercer hurricane cycles: researchers

  • Global Ecology Inks Partnership With Japanese Satellite Firm
  • First CloudSat Images Wowing Scientists
  • UAE To Monitor Construction Sites Via Satellite
  • Free as a Bird Or Under Surveillance

  • Policy Makers Draw Up List Of 'Top 100' Ecological Questions
  • Producing Bio-Ethanol From Agricultural Waste A Step Closer
  • Environment Agency Rejects Gorgon Natural Gas Project
  • Wind Energy Research Reaps Rewards

  • Large-Scale Genomics Project Will Hunt Genes Behind Common Childhood Diseases
  • H5N1 Signature May Help Detection
  • Plant Diseases Threaten Chocolate Production Worldwide
  • UN Reports AIDS Progress, But

  • Female Birds Boost Up Their Eggs When Hearing Sexy Song
  • French Farm Offers Hope For Endangered Asian Crocs
  • Brain Region Linked To Fly Slumber
  • The Mini-Dinosaurs From The Harz Mountains

  • Sandia Tool Speeds Up Environmental Cleanup, Reopening Of Contaminated Facilities
  • India Court Allows Toxic Ship Into Territorial Waters
  • Decades Of Acid Rain Is Causing Loss Of Valuable Northeast Sugar Maples
  • Air pollution rife in India's villages: report

  • Evidence Human Activities Have Shaped Large-Scale Ecological Patterns
  • Ancient Human Fossils Find Modern Virtual Home
  • Ancient DNA Sequence Allows New Look At Neandertals Diversity
  • Chaco Canyon: A Place Of Kings And Palaces

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement