Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Putting the clock in 'cock-a-doodle-doo'

Date:
March 18, 2013
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Of course, roosters crow with the dawn. But are they simply reacting to the environment, or do they really know what time of day it is? Researchers have evidence that puts the clock in "cock-a-doodle-doo.

Of course, roosters crow with the dawn. But are they simply reacting to the environment, or do they really know what time of day it is? Researchers reporting on March 18 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, have evidence that puts the clock in "cock-a-doodle-doo" (or "ko-ke-kok-koh," as they say in the research team's native Japan).
Credit: Current Biology, Shimmura et al.

Of course, roosters crow with the dawn. But are they simply reacting to the environment, or do they really know what time of day it is? Researchers reporting on March 18 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, have evidence that puts the clock in "cock-a-doodle-doo" (or "ko-ke-kok-koh," as they say in the research team's native Japan).

"'Cock-a-doodle-doo' symbolizes the break of dawn in many countries," says Takashi Yoshimura of Nagoya University. "But it wasn't clear whether crowing is under the control of a biological clock or is simply a response to external stimuli."

That's because other things -- a car's headlights, for instance -- will set a rooster off, too, at any time of day. To find out whether the roosters' crowing is driven by an internal biological clock, Yoshimura and his colleague Tsuyoshi Shimmura placed birds under constant light conditions and turned on recorders to listen and watch.

Under round-the-clock dim lighting, the roosters kept right on crowing each morning just before dawn, proof that the behavior is entrained to a circadian rhythm. The roosters' reactions to external events also varied over the course of the day.

In other words, predawn crowing and the crowing that roosters do in response to other cues both depend on a circadian clock.

The findings are just the start of the team's efforts to unravel the roosters' innate vocalizations, which aren't learned like songbird songs or human speech, the researchers say.

"We still do not know why a dog says 'bow-wow' and a cat says 'meow,' Yoshimura says. "We are interested in the mechanism of this genetically controlled behavior and believe that chickens provide an excellent model."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tsuyoshi Shimmura, Takashi Yoshimura. Circadian clock determines the timing of rooster crowing. Current Biology, 2013; 23 (6): R231 DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.02.015

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Putting the clock in 'cock-a-doodle-doo'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130318132625.htm>.
Cell Press. (2013, March 18). Putting the clock in 'cock-a-doodle-doo'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130318132625.htm
Cell Press. "Putting the clock in 'cock-a-doodle-doo'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130318132625.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Annual Dog Surfing Competition Draws California Crowds

Annual Dog Surfing Competition Draws California Crowds

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — The best canine surfers gathered for Huntington Beach's annual dog surfing competition, "Surf City, Surf Dog." Duration: 01:15 Video provided by AFP
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