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
Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk
17.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Dead trees are alive with fungi
10.01.2018 | Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.01.2018 | Awards Funding