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The lies the lyrebird tells to keep his girl | The Land



Researchers at Western Sydney University in partnership with Cornell University, the University of Wollongong and the Australian National University, have found male superb lyrebirds can create an astonishing acoustic illusion of a flock of alarm-calling birds.

The researchers discovered male lyrebirds mimic these ‘mobbing’ flocks only during key stages of courtship: during copulation, or when a female attempts to leave a male’s dancing arena without mating.

The evidence suggests males use their deceptive mimicry to prevent females from ending sexual interactions too soon.

“Darwin suggested that the flamboyant birdsong produced by male songbirds during courtship was the outcome of females’ “taste for the beautiful”, said Dr Anastasia…

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