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Male Lyrebirds Lie to Get Sex

by Scientific American
May 4th 2021
It seems like the males will do anything, even fake nearby danger, to get females to stick around to mate.
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off the twig is my territory or maybe they're signaling that there's a predator about even when there isn't. Well if a bird crying wolf sounds silly. A new study shows that in Australia, certain male songbirds use this trick to get females they wish to woo to stick around a little longer. The results appear in the journal current Biology. The superb lyre bird that spelled L. Y. R. E. Is famous for its ability to imitate the calls adheres in its local environment, from the fluid melody of a shrike thrush. Mhm. To the distinctive laugh of a kookaburra, the males, we've these oral entertainments into songs. They sing to attract mates with what lie birds are most well known for in Australia, what we call their recital

song. They're amazing, lyrical loud song that they sing from the tops of the trees before dawn throughout the day and even into dusk during the breeding season. And this recital of song. Also, most of it is mimicry, and the mail just reels through imitations of lots of species of forest birds and the recycle through them. Each new imitation is different from the rest anesthesia, D. L. A. Post doctoral fellow at the University of Walling, Gone. She and her colleagues were planning on studying this impressive acoustical exhibition, but we soon realized that every now and then mail lie bird was producing a completely different kind of democrat. This alternate routine is trotted out at the very end of the males, elaborate song and dance display. It's sort of buzzy and even somewhat annoying and it perfectly reproduces the alarm calls made by a mobbing flock of birds that has spotted a predator. They're

visually conspicuous. They're acoustically conspicuous and there are reliable q of the presence of a predator in the environment. Even for humans, I use them mobbing flux to try and avoid stepping on snakes. While I'm doing my fieldwork in Australia and a single male lyre bird can reproduce the whole shebang. It's really impressive. The mouse even managed to imitate the sounds of small birds, the wind beats of small birds as they fly over or at the predator. Very, very convincing. And what do they hope to achieve with this performance? The clue deal says came from determining when they choose to do it. So we found that males didn't produce this lobbying plot mimicry when a real predator was around. Not at all, They already context in which they produced it. The mobbing foot gimmickry was during courtship and particularly at key moments. The

first is when the male has sung his little heart out, entertaining a female with his elaborate and lyrical ballad, but his potential paramore turns up her nose. And it's the moment she steps off his display platform is when the male switches to his mobbing fought minutes, a sound that suggests there's a predator nearby when really there isn't. So we think this might be a way of the mail saying baby, it's dangerous outside stay here safe with me and then giving him more opportunity to display his beautiful song and dance prowess. Well, the only other time the Eleanor colleagues witnessed males pulling this stunt was when they were in the midst of mating. So the whole thing was absolutely bizarre. Strange. It's true. But the researchers speculate that amorous males might give their partners the impression that they're surrounded by peril in order to prevent the females from

prematurely ending the sexual interaction prematurely. That is from the point of view of the mouth because if the mail doesn't deliver what he promised, the female might decide to take an early flight for Scientific. Americans 62nd Science. I'm Karen Hopkin. Mhm.

Male Lyrebirds Lie to Get Sex
Male Lyrebirds Lie to Get Sex
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