March 5, 2014
In 71 percent of all songbird species with available data, the female sings, too. This is remarkable because in the wake of Darwin’s theory of evolution, birdsong has generally been seen as a characteristic of male birds, allowing them to compete with other males and attract females. The exciting question now is how females apparently repeatedly lost their song in the course of evolution. Why did they stop singing in some lineages, but not in others?