A clever frog uses manmade storm drains as a microphone, blasting his mating calls over long distances, a new study finds.
Male mientien tree frogs (Kurixalus diootocus) have figured out that city storm drains amplify their mating calls, according to the paper, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Zoology. The louder and longer the calls are, the greater the chances are that the male will find an available mate.
"Structures, such as wall surfaces, may change the acoustic environment for signals transmitted by animals," wrote study authors Wen-Hao Tan and colleagues, "creating novel environments that animals must either adapt to or abandon."
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Tan, a researcher in the Department of Life Science at National Taiwan University, and his team conducted field experiments and noticed that frogs intentionally went into city storm drains in Taiwan and then let loose with their mating calls. In fact, the males "selected perches inside drains that facilitated call transmission," according to the researchers.