Mouse-song serenade

Researchers at Washington University in St Louis pitch-shifted the ultrasonic vocalizations that boy-mice make when a girl-mouse walks by. Their first observation was: "Wow. This sounds just like birdsong." Being scientists with access to cool technology, they used a computer to analyze the pitch changes and pattern of vocalizations over time. It turns out each boy-mouse sings his own song to woo the girls, even though all the boy-mice in the study were (clones) identical twins. You can listen to mouse-song here and here.

Nature's article will soon be unreachable to non-subscribers (grrrrr!). The original journal article (Holy TE, Guo Z (2005) Ultrasonic Songs of Male Mice. PLoS Biol 3(12): e386) is published under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

I am most intrigued by this idea (from the Holy/Guo paper):

. . .wild mice might exhibit considerably greater diversity and/or more complex structure in their songs.
Now. May I draw a line under my complete lack of sophistication? Here it is: my number one news source is the Crickler news puzzle. I first ran across the mouse-song study there.

Wild mice having more diverse song repetoire makes sense, if you think about exposure to other individuals vs. being in a little cage amongst your lab brethern. Inbreeding, etc. might reduce variability, not just in genes but also in behavior since it's a small community. Some species of bird choose their mates based on their song repetoires (esp. those in the mockingbird family) I wonder if it's the same with mice. Anyhoo, I think it's kind of charming that mice sing to woo.
okay, now that I've skimmed the paper the scientists make the same conjecture...
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