Male tropical túngara frogs have evolved masses on their vocal cords that help them woo females with complex calls, show scientists working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama.
Male Túngara frogs that produce a facultative "chuck" in addition to their usual "whine" attract more females.
Dr. Mike Ryan, Clark Hubbs Regents Professor of integrative biology at The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Marcos Gridi-Papp, a post-doctoral scholar in physiological sciences at UCLA, and the late Dr. Stan Rand, of STRI, published their findings in the May 4 issue of Nature.
Males of the túngara frog, Physalaemus pustulosus, attract females by singing out "whine chuck chuck" calls in wetlands and puddles during the rainy season. The males may only produce whines, but females are more attracted to males that also produce chucks.
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