Soundbites is a weekly (biweekly, occasionally) feature of the coolest, newest bioacoustics, soundscape, and acoustic research, in bite-size form. Plus other cool stuff having to do with sound. I’ve been doing really well on this weekly thing, but I might break my streak next week as I’ll be in Indianapolis for ASA(!). That just means you’ll get a real blog post from me next week!
Aposematism led to increased vocal diversity in poison frogs: tip o’ the finder hat to my Garcia labmate Lindsey for this one, and it’s brilliant. You know those little brightly colored poisonous frogs? These authors wanted to know if aposematism (displaying bright colors like that as a warning to predators) might lead to increased vocal diversity, since they’d have to worry less about predation. And it did! In conjunction with sexual selection, aposematism allowed the evolution of a broader vocal repertoire!
Silvereyes shift their frequency down in urban noise–and it works: These are silvereyes. They’re really cute. You can find them in Australia and New Zealand (which is where I took this photo). Most animals shift their frequencies up above urban noise, but it turns out silvereyes shift theirs down. This increased the predicted effective space of their alarm call 20%!
Fun link of the week: Robert Krulwich of Radiolab wonders about singing bats!