Super-normal length song preferences of female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and a theory of the evolution of bird song

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Abstract

Two way choice tests show a preference of female zebra finches for male songs four standard deviations longer than normal song. Further tests show the ontogeny of this preference to parallel song learning in general as well as a preference for songs with entirely heterogeneous notes compared to songs with four note repeats. These findings are discussed in relation to a theory of the evolution of bird song from bird calls due to female preferences for longer, more complex vocalizations.

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