Its not just football supporters who join together in a rousing chorus to celebrate a victory. Winning a fight also appears to put the tropical boubou, an African bird, in the mood for a song.
Research published in BMC Ecology describes a rare example of a context-specific birdsong and identifies the tropical boubou as the first bird species known to sing a victory duet.
The birds probably sing to deter other birds from intruding into their territory. According to the authors, "We were able to hear the male note of the victory display across two territories, further than notes of other duets. Also, it was typically sung from higher perches than other duets, making it more conspicuous."
Tropical boubous are monogamous birds. The male and female of a pair often sing duets, with each bird having a distinct part.
German researchers Ulmar Grafe and Johannes Bitz visited the Comoe National Park in Ivory Coast to find out how tropical boubous respond to their territory being invaded. The researchers broadcast recordings of four duets, which are often sung during contests over territory, to 18 different pairs of birds.
Sixteen of the tropical boubou pairs stood their ground, and 11 of these pairs sung the victory duet within 30 minutes of the researchers turning off their tape machine. The birds that flew off, presumably after losing; the battle, didnt sing a note for at least 30 minutes.
The victory duet was the first and only song that the birds sung within 30 minutes of the antagonistic encounter. The tropical boubous waited for at least 150 seconds of silence, to check that the invaders had gone, before they announced they were the winners.
"Analysis revealed that the presumptive victory display was sung significantly more often after than before or during playback of recordings," write the researchers.
Like other duets sung by male and female tropical boubous, the victory duet contained "highly synchronised tonal notes that were often repeated." However this song was longer than the other 12 songs in the tropical boubous repertoire, with the same motif being sung around 40 times on average.
Gemma Bradley | BioMed Central
How does the loss of species alter ecosystems?
18.05.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Excess diesel emissions bring global health & environmental impacts
16.05.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy