18 June 2018
By Chris Baraniuk
Many of us feel a buzz when approached by a charming and attractive stranger, but not in such a literal sense. When a peacock rattles his opulent train feathers at a female of the species, it makes a sound at a specific frequency – causing the crest on her head to vibrate energetically.
Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) are famous for the spectacular train of feathers worn by males. The feathers are brightly coloured and have iridescent “eyespots”. Males display them to attract females.