19 June 2014

Can you hear me now?

A tiny tree frog seems to be using city drains to amplify its serenades to attract females. In research published today in the Journal of Zoology, researchers found that the Mientien tree frog native to Taiwan congregates in roadside storm drains during the mating season.

Audio recordings revealed that the mating songs of the frogs inside the structures were louder and longer than those of their less-streetwise rivals, who gathered in patches of land next to the drains.

“This is perhaps the first study to show that an animal preferentially uses human-made structures to potentially enhance the sounds of its vocal communication signals,” says Mark Bee, a biologist at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, in St Paul. “These males could be taking advantage of the enhanced acoustics in drainage ditches to outdo their competition.”
From Nature, where there is an appropriate disclaimer in the closing sentence.

1 comment:

  1. Hm... they wouldn't have to be human made. Any hard parabolic reflecting surface would work. Perhaps they evolved in a rocky environment where similar spots were available.


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