Mice Have Complex Singing Skills: DNews Nugget
Mice Have Complex Singing Skills:
Those squeaks and squeals from that mouse in the kitchen are not just involuntary responses to the presence of your cat. Ratatouille may be warming up for an operatic performance. (OK the study was on mice not rats but hey, who's to say he's not a tenor?)
Neurobiologists at Duke University tested the singing capabilities of mice by placing male tenors and basses together with females for eight weeks. The basses came up in tune and the tenors came down so that the males were all more evenly matched.
The neurobiologists also tested to see if the mice could sing after having the motor control region of their brains destroyed. The mice still crooned, "but they weren't able to modulate or stay on pitch on their songs as they were before," senior author Erich Jarvis told LiveScience. "The mouse brain and behavior for vocal communication is not as primitive and as innate as myself and many other scientists have considered it to be," he added.