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Do smart songbirds always get the girl?


PhysOrg

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If the early bird catches the worm, then does the smart songbird get the girl? That's what a researcher at Florida Atlantic University and collaborators from the University of Miami, Duke University, and the College of Charleston were determined to find out in a new study published in the journal Animal Cognition. Compelling evidence shows females prefer mates with better cognitive abilities in a number of animals including fish, birds, rodents and even humans. For male songbirds, their ability to sing complex songs has been suggested to signal cognitive ability and is vital for attracting females as well as repelling rival males. However, what's not clear is how female songbirds can judge the cognitive abilities of potential mates, which is a necessary first step if smarter mates are preferred over their not-as-smart counterparts.

 

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