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Emei music frog calling inside burrow

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Uploaded on Dec 7, 2011

Frog Songs Advertise Real Estate

Frog Songs Advertise Real Estate
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow...

Singing in the shower isn't a turn on—unless you're a frog. Male Emei music frogs (Babina daunchina) advertise their home-making skills by serenading females from inside their muddy burrows, researchers report online today in Biology Letters. These small Chinese natives, which attract females by belting out quick chirps, dig deep caverns near ponds for shelter and raising tadpoles. Males sing both inside and outside of their soggy abodes, but the tunes aren't created equal. (Listen to examples of each below.)When males belt out solos from safe inside their burrows, their calls tend to be deeper and longer, giving females a good sense of how deep the holes are and how wide their entrances may be. And the females seem to prefer studs that can keep house. The team played back recorded calls to would-be mates and found that about 70% of females hopped toward songs taken from inside a burrow rather than out.

Frog Songs
Listen to Emei music frogs try to court females.

Inside Call
emei-Frog1.mp3
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow...

Outside Call
emei-Frog2.mp3
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow...

Reference
Real estate ads in Emei music frog vocalizations: female preference for calls emanating from burrows
Biol. Lett. December 7, 2011, doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.1091
http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.or...

Abstract
During female mate choice, both the male's phenotype and resources (e.g. his nest) contribute to the chooser's fitness. Animals other than humans are not known to advertise resource characteristics to potential mates through vocal communication; although in some species of anurans and birds, females do evaluate male qualities through vocal communication. Here, we demonstrate that calls of the male Emei music frog (Babina dauchina), vocalizing from male-built nests, reflect nest structure information that can be recognized by females. Inside-nest calls consisted of notes with energy concentrated at lower frequency ranges and longer note durations when compared with outside-nest calls. Centre frequencies and note durations of the inside calls positively correlate with the area of the burrow entrance and the depth of the burrow, respectively. When given a choice between outside and inside calls played back alternately, more than 70 per cent of the females (33/47) chose inside calls. These results demonstrate that males of this species faithfully advertise whether or not they possess a nest to potential mates by vocal communication, which probably facilitates optimal mate selection by females. These results revealed a novel function of advertisement calls, which is consistent with the wide variation in both call complexity and social behaviour within amphibians.

Data Supplement Audio

AUDIO ESM 1
http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.or...

AUDIO ESM 2
http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.or...

Video: Emei music frog calling inside burrow.MPEG
RoyalSociety
http://www.youtube.com/user/RoyalSociety

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