As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday 16 January 2019

Intelligent males may make female birds swoon: study

January 10, 2019 by Ivan Couronne
 A report that shows that female birds prefer smarter males aligns with one of Charles Darwin's old theories, which held that mate choice could contribute to the evolution of intelligence
Male birds are often the ones with the most vibrant feathers, or the most elaborate songs, but researchers said Thursday that what female birds could really appreciate is a male who shows his intelligence.
The report in the journal Science aligns with one of Charles Darwin's old theories, which held that mate choice could contribute to the evolution of intelligence.
"Our study demonstrates that direct observation of cognitive skills can affect mate preference," said the study, authored by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and at Leiden University in The Netherlands.
Researchers used 34 small Australian parrots, known as budgerigars, to test the notion that a suitor's smarts could outweigh style or songs.
A female bird was exposed to two similar looking males, in a cage in which she could only interact with one at a time. Prior study designs like this have shown that females tend to lean toward males with slightly nicer appearances, or more appealing songs.
Researchers could tell which male was preferred by the amount of time the female spent interacting with him.
Then, they swept away the lesser male to engage him in a special training session in opening a container filled with seeds.
The female—and her preferred male—received no such training, and were given open boxes of seed to eat from freely.

No comments:

Post a Comment