“They charm the females by instrumental music of the most varied kinds”

And thus, Charles Darwin adapted the phrase “Instrumental Music,” previously used to mean humans with instruments making music, to name one of the most important “secondary sexual characters … diversified and conspicuous in birds” which, added to “all sorts of combs, wattles, protuberances, horns, air-distended sacs, topknots, naked shafts, plumes and lengthened feathers gracefully springing from all parts of the body” mediate avian sexual selection..


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Comments

  1. #1 Onkel Bob
    April 21, 2011

    Just Because… Birdsong, circa 1983

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