How to attract a female

A female mouse that is. You may recall a post from several years ago when we talked about how rats seem to “laugh” when tickled. Back in April 2015 researchers at Duke University presented a video that showed male mice “singing” a tune after either smelling the urine of a female mouse or being in her presence. The sounds were recorded using a microphone designed to capture 35 to 125 kilohertz (kz), which is a much higher frequency than we can hear:

Recent research published in eLife shows that female mice will sing back if interested in the male pursuing her. You can listen to a clip of a female’s response here. They discovered this after being able to isolate each singer’s voice in a group. Thus it is possible that prior recordings may have been of females as opposed to males.

Judging from the video above, it may not have been his lucky day as it does not appear she reciprocated his song…

Sources:

Neunuebel JP, Taylor AL, Arthur BJ, Egnor SER. Female mice ultrasonically interact with males during courtship displays. eLife. 4: e06203, 2015. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06203

Science Magazine

Video from Duke University via YouTube

Comments

  1. #1 See Noevo
    September 17, 2015

    Isn’t “lady” sexist/politically-incorrect?

    • #2 Dr. Dolittle
      September 21, 2015

      I apologize if I have offended anyone. It was certainly not my intention. I have replaced the word “lady”.

  2. #3 Charles Alexander Zorn
    NYC
    October 1, 2015

    Actually, it can be complimentary, unless someone is not the opposite of a gentlemen. In professional or academic or science writing it is common practice to neutralize gender bias in language. Here male and female suffices. To do otherwise may suggest a behavior is appropriate or inappropriate. Only a mouse would know what is un-mouse-lady-like or not. So we neutralize so as not to assume or presume. In science we observe and describe, avoiding the projection of personified roles, ergo human sex role bias. Nicely peer-reviewed and corrected. If it was a story or even a study comparing mouse behavior to human, it could be useful and acceptable to have little lady and gentlemen mice…