Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Male And Female Songbirds Show Big Learning Differences

Date:
May 18, 2001
Source:
University Of California, Davis
Summary:
Female northern cardinals learn songs in one-third the time it takes male birds to learn the same number of songs, according to research at the University of California, Davis, by Ayako Yamaguchi, a former graduate student.

Female northern cardinals learn songs in one-third the time it takes male birds to learn the same number of songs, according to research at the University of California, Davis, by Ayako Yamaguchi, a former graduate student.

"It's the largest learning difference between sexes ever found," said Yamaguchi. Small sex-based differences in learning have been found in other animals, but these are usually so small that they are overwhelmed by individual variation.

Northern cardinals are unusual among temperate-zone birds because both males and females sing. In earlier work, Yamaguchi has shown that the birds can tell the difference between male and female songs. Birds learned songs by copying birds of either sex, but added sex-specific characteristics to them.

Young birds memorize songs during a time window called the sensitive period, and later practice their songs compared to the memory. Yamaguchi found that while the sensitive period started at around the same age for both sexes, it lasted more than three times as long in males as in females.

The ability to learn songs or language is very rare, having evolved only three times -- in birds, whales and humans -- said emeritus professor Peter Marler, who heads the Animal Communication Laboratory at UC Davis. Yamaguchi's research has opened up the whole area of gender-specific song learning, he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California, Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California, Davis. "Male And Female Songbirds Show Big Learning Differences." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 May 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010518081300.htm>.
University Of California, Davis. (2001, May 18). Male And Female Songbirds Show Big Learning Differences. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010518081300.htm
University Of California, Davis. "Male And Female Songbirds Show Big Learning Differences." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010518081300.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) The Johnson family lost their battle with the Chesterfield County, Virginia Planning Commission to allow Tucker, their pet pig, to stay in their home, but refuse to let the board keep Tucker away. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins