Did you know male mice sing to court their female mates? OK, maybe it is not Barry White and is defined more as a “series of utterances or syllables strung together, sometimes with a tempo”, but it seems to work just fine for the female mice. The male mice even have different complexities of songs for different social situations. When a male is only able to smell a female and not visualize her the song is more complex and louder. When he can see the female the song is more simple, quiet, and is sung directly to the female. Researchers surmise that this is so more of the male’s energy can be directed into other, ahem, acts for the female.
While scientists do net yet know how much the mice can alter their songs like a songbirds can, or if they have to choose from fixed patterns. They are studying the area of the brain responsible for learned behaviors which can help in understanding deficits in social communications as in autism disorders.
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