Mice ballads

MALE  mice sing ultrasonic love songs to woo females, a new study has found. The ultrasonic songs vary widely, with some winning males emitting tunes that prove irresistible to females.

And as the song quality varies among the males, the songs help females to choose the best mates.

However, it is not known what exactly makes a "hit love song" in the mice world.

"It could be a question of different syllable types or endurance in singing or a combination of both — all together it could help the female to choose the best mate," Discovery News quoted lead author Kerstin Musolf as saying. The researchers believe that their study is the first to examine the ultrasonic vocalisations of wild-derived house mice.

These calls have frequencies above those of sounds audible to humans and many other animals. The researchers used special equipment to record an observe offspring of house mice caught at three locations in Ganserndorf, Austria.

When males got a whiff of scent from available, non-related, adult females, they sang their hearts out at varying degrees. Females were more attracted to songs crooned by unfamiliar males that weren’t related to them.

Women sometimes flirt by pushing back their hair. Female mice do something similar by cleaning themselves vigorously all over.

The study has been accepted for publication in the journal Animal Behavior. — ANI