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Loss of cultural song diversity in a declining Hawaiian forest bird community (royalsocietypublishing.org)
41 points by anigbrowl 56 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments

I find it fascinating how animals adapt and transmit knowledge to new generations.

"Reintroduced populations of bighorn sheep and moose did not migrate as historical herds had. However, after several decades, newly established herds were better able to track the emergence of vegetation in the environment and were increasingly migratory. Thus, newly introduced animals learned about their environment and shared the information through social exchange."


This is a really interesting finding, but the conclusions seem a bit arguable.

Complexity helps individuals stand out in a crowd, but species markers make it easy to distinguish and find a mate in the first place. So it seems natural to me that declining population would lead to less complexity (due to less competition) and more reliance on the species markers (to help connect more disperse individuals).

There are also studies where captive song birds increase complexity in the absence of other stuff to do. So I doubt this is an irreversible change.

Anecdotally, I swear that in the late 90's one of the bird species in Michigan switched over to the Nokia ring tone.

You must be Sir David Attenborough looking for Lyre birds ;)


Holy cow, that was fascinating and disturbing - I wonder how much more that bird is capable of, it reminds me of Whistler from Sneakers.

I think the species that was imitating the cell phone was a rose-breasted grosbeak, and it wasn't nearly as perfect as that Lyre, but close enough to be recognizable.

I can't stop thinking about that Lyre bird. I was wondering if it could be trained to establish a modem connection and transfer a file. What would its baud rate be?

meanwhile Parakeets all over Florida are singing ..’hello Moto!’ and ‘can you hear me now!?’

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