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    New research shows that musical mice sing to fend off other males

    NewsOther petsWednesday 09 October 2013
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    It seems that everyday we learn something new about how other animals live and today’s news is that a study found that mice in the Costa Rican cloud forest use their singing skills

    Over millions of years of evolution, animals have constantly adapted and it is never the strongest that survive but those who are most adaptable to change. From cobras that expand their hoods to look bigger and skunks that release a foul smelling spray, animals have a range of tactics to protect themselves from predators.

    The new study was made from the University of Texas in Austin and headed by Bret Pasch who said that “Males appear to vocalize to advertise their presence to potential mates and competitors,” 

    There are two different types of mice between Costa Rica and Panama and Pasch’s observations found that the Alston singing mouse like the warming temperatures and lower altitudes and the Chirique singing mouse like the cooler temperatures and higher altitudes of the forest. However in some areas of the forest you find both sets of mice and because they eat the same food, one would expect them to come into conflict often.

    Instead of evolving to defend and fight the food, the mice have evolved to establish territory and dominance without risking bodily harm.

    Pasch and his team wanted to understand what it all meant so they trapped some of the mice and recorded their vocalizations. Unlike squeaks or chirps, Pasch said that the ‘song’s of these mice were more complex. It turns out that both species of mice would use their singing to find out where to be and go in areas they inhabit. Both use their songs to attract mates.

    Pasch said that “The purpose of the call depends on the receiver,”

    “If it’s a female in reproductive condition, songs will increase the probability that she’ll move toward the sender to gather more information and potentially mate. If it’s a subordinate male of the other species, he’ll likely stay clear to avoid an aggressive encounter.”

     

     

    Source: National Geographic

    Photo: Wikipedia

     

     

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