Sunday, June 27, 2010
The jungle or politics, it's all the same
Researcher, Dr. Greg Johnston from Flinders University and Adelaide Zoo has been studying the rold of bright colours in frog breeding behaviour in the Panamanian rainforest.
He said, "They're brilliantly coloured. They're green on the back, they have bright orange feet, they have gold and blue stripes on the side and they have bright red eyes and they have purple flashes on the thighs." (Lady Gaga of the frog world)
When the frogs strike a particular pose that displays the bright colours on the side of their body, they start shaking the branch they're on. What Dr. Johnston noticed was whenever they displayed this behaviour, they were also doing what looked, to him, like little tantrums.
The research team also used a miniature seisomograph to measure the vigrations made by the frogs to make sure they were not the product of wind or some other random movement.
Johnston and colleagues set up contests between male frogs and found they interchanged vibrations until one frog finally gave up, or the two had a fight to determine who would stay. They also put together an experiment using a robot frog to play back vibrations to male frogs in the field. They reacted to the robot as if it was a competing frog.
I'm trying not to say it but I can't help myself, isn't that so male, flashy, tantrums and sex.