MicroRNAs in the songbird brain respond to new songs (w/ video)
Whenever it hears an unfamiliar song from a bird of the same species, a zebra finch stops chirping, hopping and grooming. It listens attentively for minutes at a time, occasionally cocking its head but otherwise ...
Finches use their own form of grammar in their tweets
Bat Love Songs Decoded (w/ Video)
Love songs aren't only for soft rock FM stations - they're also used by romantic bats, and researchers at Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin are believed to be the first to decode the ...
From a Queen song to a better music search engine (w/Video)
At a recent IEEE technology conference, UC San Diego electrical engineers presented a solution to their problem with the song "Bohemian Rhapsody,"—and it's not that they don't like this hit from the band ...
Biologists find birdsong of isolates reverts to norm over several generations (w/Audio)
In an experiment that points to a role for genetics in the development of culture, biologists at The City College of New York (CCNY) and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have discovered that zebra finches raised in isolation ...
Male songbirds don't have to be studs to find a mate
Biologists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill may have good news for male songbirds: You might not have to be a stud to attract a mate.
What singing fruit flies can tell us about quick decisions
You wouldn't hear the mating song of the male fruit fly as you reached for the infested bananas in your kitchen. Yet, the neural activity behind the insect's amorous call could help scientists understand ...
Bird song – it's not just a male gig
Since Darwin's observations we thought that bird songs were a male trait for courting with females who were drawn to the most seductive male song.
Oust that tune: Study details cures for earworms (Update)
It happens to nearly everyone: A song—let's say Abba's "Waterloo"—is stuck in your head and just won't go away.
Signalers vs. strong silent types: Sparrows exude personalities during fights
Like humans, some song sparrows are more effusive than others, at least when it comes to defending their territories. New findings from the University of Washington show that consistent individual differences ...
Like father, not like son: Brain and song structure in zebra finches are strongly influenced by the environment
The song of songbirds is a learned, complex behavior and subject to strong selective forces. However, it is difficult to tease apart the influence of the genetic background and the environment on the expression ...
Colonizing songbirds lost sense of syntax: Genes underlying song selection may have been lost in transit
As one species of European songbird island-hopped to colonize mid-Atlantic archipelagoes over the course of a half million years, their songs lost their sense of syntax.
Even low-level PCBs change bird songs
It may not kill them outright, but low-level PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) contamination disrupts how some birds sing their songs, report Cornell researchers.
Fraternal singing in zebra finches
The song of songbirds is usually transmitted from one generation to the next by imitation learning and is thought to be similar to the acquisition of human speech. Although song is often learnt from an adult ...