Bowerbird is Master of Illusion!
by Sara C.P. Williams
It takes some trickery for a male Great Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus nuchalis) to hold a female’s attention. He spends a majority of his time building and performing upkeep on an intricate structure called a bower to attract members of the opposite sex.
Two stick walls arch over the east and west sides of the bower, and a courtyard filled with trinkets—such as rocks, sticks, shells, and bones—stretches from south to north. Last year, researchers discovered that the male organizes these trinkets, or “gesso,” so that the largest ones lie farthest from where the female stands. From the female bowerbird’s perspective, the objects all appear to be the same size, an illusion called forced perspective by filmmakers and photographers. Now, researchers who recorded the scene at the bowers of 20 males in northern Australia have shown that the better the gesso objects are arranged in this way, the better a male’s chances of mating with a female.
The illusion may hold the female’s attention for longer than a poorly arranged gesso, the researchers suggest online today in Science, giving the male time to mate with her. Or the pattern may hint that the male has other qualities the female is looking for in a mate.
(via: Science NOW)  
(image: Science/AAAS; (inset) J. J. Harrison/Creative Commons)

Bowerbird is Master of Illusion!

by Sara C.P. Williams

It takes some trickery for a male Great Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus nuchalis) to hold a female’s attention. He spends a majority of his time building and performing upkeep on an intricate structure called a bower to attract members of the opposite sex.

Two stick walls arch over the east and west sides of the bower, and a courtyard filled with trinkets—such as rocks, sticks, shells, and bones—stretches from south to north. Last year, researchers discovered that the male organizes these trinkets, or “gesso,” so that the largest ones lie farthest from where the female stands. From the female bowerbird’s perspective, the objects all appear to be the same size, an illusion called forced perspective by filmmakers and photographers. Now, researchers who recorded the scene at the bowers of 20 males in northern Australia have shown that the better the gesso objects are arranged in this way, the better a male’s chances of mating with a female.

The illusion may hold the female’s attention for longer than a poorly arranged gesso, the researchers suggest online today in Science, giving the male time to mate with her. Or the pattern may hint that the male has other qualities the female is looking for in a mate.

(via: Science NOW)  

(image: Science/AAAS; (inset) J. J. Harrison/Creative Commons)

  1. gold-of-kinabalu reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  2. esvoir reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  3. beneath-my-tree reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  4. sweetpeace25 reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  5. gwenmcgregor reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  6. moreanimalia reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  7. lesbianslovefish reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  8. dcy3 reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  9. cryrabbitcry reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  10. bro-thernature reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  11. andthedayturnedintonight reblogged this from rhamphotheca and added:
    i wish humans courted like this.
  12. savyjanep reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  13. dietmysterypepsi reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  14. take-me-to-the-zoo reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  15. sleepyheathen reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  16. gracklesong reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  17. sweetpeacelove reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  18. opakakaek reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  19. asiawizard reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  20. heyduhyou reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  21. shirtless-science reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  22. moviesorientated reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  23. moontiger5 reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  24. ziemlichwenig reblogged this from rhamphotheca