Male Mice Sing Like Birds to Woo Female Mice
Via Slashdot I found the nifty news of the ultrasonic songs of male mice. Check out the audio samples posted below (amplified for our human ears). They're rather lovely, really! If I was a single female mouse, I'd totally check out the male mouse making those sweet soundz. Female mice like guys with skillz (they must, or why would male mice bother? Not sure how gay mice factor into this). On the other hand, wouldn't most women simply be irritated if a guy started singing to catch her attention? That would be so obnoxious! Cute from a whale, mouse, or bird, yet obnoxious from a human.
The authors don't analyze the "obnoxious factor" but they do note that while "courtship songs are common among birds, insects, and frogs, song has only rarely been documented in mammals, and to our knowledge only in humans, whales, and bats." However, after a fairly exhaustive analysis of the recordings, they conclude that the male mice sounds do "have the characteristics of song." In fact, the "richness and complexity of mouse song appear to approach that of many songbirds." I've posted wav files of a couple of the mice songs below (more are available), and they really do sound like songbirds. How surprising, and cool.
WAV:male mouse - song
WAV:male mouse - longer song
MP3: Modest Mouse - Mice Eat Cheese (from Sad Sappy Sucker)
MP3: The Fiery Furnaces - Sing for Me (from The Fiery Furnaces EP)
MP3: Stars - Don't Be Afraid to Sing (from Heart)
MP3: Oasis - Songbird (from Heathen Chemistry)