Data from: Accelerated redevelopment of vocal skills is preceded by lasting reorganization of the song motor circuitryMichiel Vellema, Mariana Diales Rocha, Sabrina Bascones, Sandor Zsebok, Jes Dreier, Stefan Leitner, Annemie Van Der Linden, Jonathan Brewer & Manfred Gahr
Complex motor skills take considerable time and practice to learn. Without continued practice the level of skill performance quickly degrades, posing a problem for the timely utilization of skilled motor behaviors. Here we quantified the recurring development of vocal motor skills and the accompanying changes in synaptic connectivity in the brain of a songbird, while manipulating skill performance by consecutively administrating and withdrawing testosterone. We demonstrate that a songbird with prior singing experience can significantly...
Data from: Insectivorous bats integrate social information about species identity, conspecific activity, and prey abundance to estimate cost-benefit ratio of interactionsDaniel Lewanzik, Arun K. Sundaramurthy & Holger R. Goerlitz
Animals can use inadvertent social information to improve fitness‐relevant decisions, for instance about where to forage or with whom to interact. Since bats emit high‐amplitude species‐specific echolocation calls when flying, they provide a constant flow of inadvertent social information to others who can decode that acoustic information. Of particular interest is the rate of feeding buzzes – characteristic call sequences preceding any prey capture – which correlates with insect abundance. Previous studies investigating eavesdropping in...
It is often claimed that pair bonds preferentially form between individuals that resemble one another. Such assortative mating appears to be widespread throughout the animal kingdom. Yet it is unclear whether the apparent ubiquity of assortative mating arises primarily from mate choice (‘like attracts like’) which can be constrained by same-sex competition for mates, from spatial or temporal separation, or from observer, reporting, publication or search bias. Here, based on a conventional literature search, we...
Data from: Timing of arrival in the breeding area is repeatable and affects reproductive success in a non-migratory population of blue titsCarol Gilsenan, Mihai Valcu & Bart Kempenaers
Events in one part of the annual cycle often affect the performance (and subsequently fitness) of individuals later in the season (carry-over effects). An important aspect of this relates to the timing of activities. For example, many studies on migratory birds have shown that relatively late spring arrival in the breeding area reduces both the likelihood of getting a mate or territory and reproductive success. In contrast, relatively little is known about movements of individuals...
Exploratory behavior, but not aggressiveness, is correlated with breeding dispersal propensity in the highly philopatric Thorn-tailed RayaditoEsteban Botero-Delgadillo
Studies on the relationship between behavioral traits and dispersal are necessary to understand the evolution of dispersal syndromes. Empirical studies have mainly focused on natal dispersal, even though behavioral differences between dispersers and philopatric individuals are suspected to hold through the whole life cycle, potentially affecting breeding dispersal propensity. Using capture–mark–recapture data and behavioral trials in a forest passerine, the thorn-tailed rayadito Aphrastura spinicauda, we describe inter-individual differences in exploratory behavior and aggressiveness, and investigate...
Data from: Effects of manipulated levels of predation threat on parental provisioning and nestling beggingAriane Mutzel, Anne-Lise Olsen, Kimberley J. Mathot, Yimen G. Araya-Ajoy, Marion Nicolaus, Jan J. Wijmenga, Jonathan Wright, Bart Kempenaers & Niels J. Dingemanse
Parental provisioning behavior is a major determinant of offspring growth and survival, but high provisioning rates might come at the cost of increased predation threat. Parents should thus adjust provisioning activity according to current predation threat levels. Moreover, life-history theory predicts that response to predation threat should be correlated with investment in current reproduction. We experimentally manipulated perceived predation threat in free-living great tits (Parus major) by presenting parents with a nest predator model while...
Data from: Exposure to predator models during the fertile period leads to higher levels of extra-pair paternity in blue titsPeter Santema, Mihai Valcu & Bart Kempenaers
1) The perceived risk of predation can affect breeding behaviour and reduce reproductive success in prey species. Individuals exposed to predators may also adopt different mating tactics with potential consequences for the distribution of paternity in socially monogamous species that engage in extra-pair copulations. 2) We experimentally increased perceived predation risk during the fertile period in blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus. Every morning between nest completion and the onset of egg laying, we presented a model...
Data from: Neural representation of bat predation risk and evasive flight in moths: a modelling approachHolger R. Goerlitz, Hannah M. Ter Hofstede & Marc W. Holderied
Most animals are at risk from multiple predators and can vary anti-predator behaviour based on the level of threat posed by each predator. Animals use sensory systems to detect predator cues, but the relationship between the tuning of sensory systems and the sensory cues related to predator threat are not well-studied at the community level. Noctuid moths have ultrasound-sensitive ears to detect the echolocation calls of predatory bats. Here, combining empirical data and mathematical modelling,...
Data from: Genetic Monogamy despite frequent extra-pair Copulations in “strictly monogamous” wild JackdawsLisa Gill, Jaap Van Schaik, Auguste Von Bayern & Manfred Gahr
“Monogamy” refers to different components of pair exclusiveness: the social pair, sexual partners, and the genetic outcome of sexual encounters. Avian monogamy is usually defined socially or genetically, while quantifications of sexual behavior remain scarce. Jackdaws (Corvus monedula) are considered a rare example of strict monogamy in songbirds, with lifelong pair bonds and little genetic evidence for extra-pair offspring. Yet jackdaw copulations, although accompanied by loud copulation calls, are rarely observed, since they occur visually...
Aerial habitats present a challenge to find food across a large potential search volume, particularly for insectivorous bats that rely on echolocation calls with limited detection range and may forage at heights over 1000 m. To understand how bats use vertical space, we tracked one to five foraging flights of eight common noctules (Nyctalus noctula). Bats were tracked for their full foraging session (87.27 ± 24 mins) using high-resolution atmospheric pressure radio transmitters that allowed...
Data from: Nest association between two predators as a behavioral response to the low density of rodentsIvan Pokrovsky, Dorothée Ehrich, Rolf Anker Ims, Ivan Fufachev, Olga Kulikova, Aleksandr Sokolov, Natalia Sokolova, Vasily Sokolov & Nigel Gilles Yoccoz
Many birds nest in association with aggressive birds of other species to benefit from their protection against predators. We hypothesized that the protective effect also could extend to foraging resources, whereby the resultant resource enriched habitats near a nest of aggressive raptors could be an alternative cause of associations between nesting bird species with non-overlapping foraging niches. In the Arctic, the Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus) and the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) are 2 raptor species...
Data from: Joint attention skills in wild Arabian babblers (Turdoides squamiceps): a consequence of cooperative breeding?Yitzchak Ben Mocha, Roger Mundry & Simone Pika
Human cooperation strongly relies on the ability of interlocutors to coordinate each other’s attentional state: joint attention. One predominant hypothesis postulates that this hallmark of the unique cognitive system of humans evolved due to the combination of an ape-like cognitive system and the prosocial motives that facilitate cooperative breeding. Here, we tested this hypothesis by investigating the communicative interactions of a cooperatively breeding bird species, the Arabian babbler (Turdoides squamiceps). The behaviour of twelve wild...
Providing parental care often reduces additional mating opportunities. Paternal care becomes easier to understand if trade-offs between mating and caring remain mild. The black coucal Centropus grillii combines male-only parental care with 50% of all broods containing young sired by another male. To understand how much caring for offspring reduces a male’s chance to sire additional young in other males’ nests, we matched the production of extra-pair young in each nest with the periods during...
Max Planck Institute for Ornithology13
University of Antwerp1
University of Greifswald1
The Arctic University of Norway1
University of Groningen1
Eötvös Loránd University1
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology1
University of Zurich1
Department of Biological Sciences1