Mice sing to seduce mates like birds

Mice sing to seduce mates like birds
Highlights

It\'s not just birds who woo their potential partners by sweet singing voice, as new study has found that mice to sing, be it squeaky, to seduce their mates.

It's not just birds who woo their potential partners by sweet singing voice, as new study has found that mice to sing, be it squeaky, to seduce their mates.

According to the research by Duke University male mice sing surprisingly complex songs to seduce females, sort of like songbirds.
It has been known for over 50 years that mice sing, or emit what's called 'ultrasonic vocalizations' or USVs, sounds so high-pitched that people can't hear them.
USVs grow more complex as mice reach adulthood. But researchers are still trying to decode the songs and determine how they vary across different social situations.
Co-corresponding author Erich Jarvis said that the results add to evidence suggesting that although mice have a more limited ability to modify their songs than songbirds, they may be useful in research to understand some features of vocal communication and communication disorders.
The team studied the dynamics between the various syllables in a given mouse song, defined as a series of utterances or syllables strung together, sometimes with a tempo, and found that males sing more complex songs-and louder-when they smell a female's urine but don't see her. By comparison, the songs are longer and simpler when the males sing directly to the female in her presence.
Jarvis said that they think it had something to do with the complex song being like a calling song, and then when mice sees the female, he switches to a simpler song in order to save energy to chase and try to court her at the same time.
Most female mice prefer spending time by speakers playing the complex tunes. The fact that the females reacted differently to the different songs further strengthens the group's conclusion that these various calls carry meaning, Chabout said.
The scientists plan to investigate the role of various genes and brain areas in the songs.
The study appears in the journal Frontiers of Behavioral Neuroscience.
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