These findings were published by researchers at the University of Basel and the Netherlands Institute of Ecology in the online edition of «Journal of Avian Biology». With up to 100 trill elements a second, nightingales belong to the fastest singers.
The Older, the Better: Singing male nightingale.
Photo: Kathryn Peiman / Petite Camargue Alsacienne
Nightingales are famous for their large song repertoire: Each male can perform around 200 different song types. Facing this great variety, how can a female listener assess correctly if the male counterpart is a suitable mating partner? It is unlikely that the size of the repertoire is used as a performance indicator, since it would take about one hour for a male nightingale to sing through its whole song list. Thus, it is more likely that the quality of certain elements or song types are attended to for quick assessment.
Around 20 percent of nightingale songs contain rapid broadband trills that are characterized by particularly large frequency bandwidths. Since the performance of these sounds is very demanding, the rate at which they can be repeated is limited: «Trying to sing rapidly increasing sounds in fast repetition is very hard for us humans as well» says PD Dr. Valentin Amrhein, Zoologist at the University of Basel and head of the research station Petite Camargue Alsacienne in which the data was collected. Singing rapid broadband trills comes at a certain price for the male nightingale. Thus, it is suggested that males in good physical condition trill better and that therefore, trilling is a good indicator for male «quality».
Indeed, the scientists found out that older male nightingales perform faster trills with a broader frequency range than younger males. Based on the trills, females could therefore assess the age of the male singer and mate preferably with older ones. This behavior makes sense for female birds because older males are often more successful in reproduction.
Compared to 46 bird species investigated in other studies, the nightingale holds an exceptional position: The males use trills with a frequency bandwidth and repetition rates twice as wide or fast than that measured in other birds. This makes the nightingale one of the most sophisticated singers.Original Source
Journal of Avian Biology, 2013 | doi: 10.1111/j.1600-048X.2013.00113.xFurther Information
• Dr. Philipp Sprau, Max-Planck-Institut für Ornithologie, Forschungsgruppe Evolutionäre Ökologie von Variation, tel. +49 179 597 99 83, email: email@example.comWeitere Informationen:
Reto Caluori | Universität Basel
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy