Sing a song of bird phylogeny

A songbird family tree reveals that the earliest songbird was probably a vocal diva

By Bethany Brookshire, 17:42 PM March 12, 2014

Spring will be here soon. And with daffodils, crocuses and other signs of spring comes a burst of birdsong as males duke it out to get female attention. While the males trill loud songs, the females sit quietly, choosing who will be the lucky male.

Vocal male and quiet female songbirds are common in temperate zones, and have given rise to a common assumption. The best male songs get picked for reproduction, and this sexual selection results in complex song; females just listen and choose, so f...

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