Male Mice Sing Songs To Woo Their Mates
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It might surprise you to know that mice are prolific singers. Most of us have never heard their tunes because they sing in the ultrasonic -- beyond the range of human hearing. But when researchers use special microphones and software to lower the pitch, they can clearly make out mice melodies. That's when the real research begins. It turns out that male mice sing different tunes depending on whether or not a female is nearby. If they catch the scent of a lady mouse, their song is loud and complex -- a mating call, perhaps. Once a female is near, the male's singing gets softer and simpler as he begins his courtship. The researchers also played recordings of male mouse songs for female mice to determine how well these vocal stylings went over with them, and sure enough, most female mice preferred the complex songs to the simple ones. The next step is to uncover the role that genes and brain circuitry play in mice modifying their songs, since that has the potential to help scientists learn more about the communication issues that arise in autism spectrum disorders.
You Can Sniff A Sweaty Shirt To Find A Date
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Dating sure isn't like it used to be-and that's a great thing. The intersection of dating and technology has opened the doors to newer, easier, and more efficient ways of finding a compatible partner. Creativity and science play a role too. For example, smell dating. This dating service creates matches based on smell. Participants wear a shirt without deodorant for three days. Samples from the shirts of several participants are shipped to a potential match who can choose one (or none) just based on the scent and pheromones.
Does Monogamy Exist In Nature?
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Accounts of animals "mating for life" are usually romanticized and exaggerated. In fact, very few mammals choose a single mate to stick with through thick and thin, and even those that do, such as gibbons, are likely to cheat on or leave their partner. Though birds are often upheld as paragons of monogamy, they shatter the illusion of faithfulness if scrutinized. "Adultery" is rampant among many bird species, as it ensures both genetic variety and more widespread dissemination of an individual's genes.
Aphids Give Birth To Pregnant Clones
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Most of the time, aphids reproduce asexually by cloning themselves. A female will develop embryos in a neat line within her ovaries, and these embryos will also contain developing embryos inside them—"like Russian dolls," according to scientist David Stern. The mother will give live birth to these offspring. In the autumn, however, she might opt to mate with males and lay eggs that contain genetically different offspring.
Key Facts to Know
Female aphids can reproduce asexually by cloning themselves. 0:24
Male aphids aren't involved in the aphids' reproductive cycle until autumn. 1:48
By mating with males, female aphids can inject variety into their genetic line. 3:06
Is Kissing Universal?
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Kissing is often portrayed as a universal expression of love, crossing nationalities and languages in media from around the world. However, one study suggests that romantic kissing is not nearly as prevalent as these stories would have you believe. Some cultures don't accept locking lips as a show of romantic affection, going so far as to deem it unpleasant or just plain strange. Research suggests that romantic kissing is more common in cultures with a high degree of social complexity and distinct social classes.
Key Facts to Know
One study found that women were attracted to the smell of sweat from men whose immune-related proteins were complementary to their own. 0:56
One study of 168 cultures found that romantic kissing was not an accepted social practice in more than half of them. 2:23
Research indicates that more socially complex cultures are more likely to exhibit romantic kissing. 3:17