A Squeaky Serenade
Some animals, like the peacock for instance, put on elaborate displays for their potential mates. Other species perform dance-like movements. What do mice do? They serenade their mates.
Yet, it was already known that these mice had high pitched mating calls. However, one recent study slowed down recordings of these squeaks, revealing their surprisingly intricate nature. Each mouse has a different, distinctive “voice.” So distinctive that females can effectively detect, and thus avoid, the mating songs of their siblings, preventing incestual affairs.
But what else do they look for in these songs? Researchers are unsure. However, the researchers did find that mice that have lived in laboratories for long periods of time are unable to match the “musical complexity” that is achievable by their wild counterparts, making them less desirable.
"It seems as though house mice might provide a new model organism for the study of song in animals," said co-author Dr. Dustin Penn "Who would have thought that?"