Saturday, July 22, 2006

Turtle Copulation

Turtle Copulation.

Just how does Male Turtle get into that position and even more of a question, how does he manage to get back out of it again?

From Sheldon Einhorn, a man with a sense of humor and no fear of the facts,

Shrimps do it,
Prawns do it,

Turtles we surprise on our neighbor's lawns do it...


(For more recent posts, click on palemaleirregulars at the top of the page. D.B.)

Friday, July 21, 2006

A Canary song question from Marie Winn, Author extraordinaire, and my answer...So far, sort of.

Just what does get a Canary "started"?

The Albert Einstein model?

Surely large mouth bass wouldn't be better, would it?

MarieWinn wrote,


You say the females boost their egg output when they hear attractive [sexy] songs. I'd like to know the difference [in canary music] between an "attractive [sexy] song and an unattractive [ho-hum] song. Is it like the difference between Mozart and Punk Rock, for instance, in human music? Or what?



To tell you the truth, I've had questions about that myself. The only answer I can come up with currently is, "sexy music" is whatever kind makes your eggs get bigger. But that's rather like which came first, the canary's song or the egg. I'm still looking for more definitive information on the study, canary girl urges, and what makes "sexy".

But in the meantime...

Might there be environmental cultural musical factors? Do all the females react the same way to the same music? If raised in Wisconsin, would Polka influenced song cause reproductive hyperdrive mega eggs?

Ah, but as there was no difference in the sex ratio in the experiment even though there were bigger eggs, and no guys around to give visual cues in the experiment, is there a visual factor that is causing the sex ratio difference? Say in the above example of Wisconsin , would the sight of male canaries with beer steins cause more male offspring to be produced to go with the polka enlarged eggs?

Just think, it could be extrapolated even farther. Wisconsin is famous for it's cheese. Cheese comes from milk. Milk comes from cows. The cows are kept by farmers. And the farmers all pipe music into the dairy barns. Very clever. We may have stumbled on something here. Polka causes physiological changes in the cows, which gives them hypermaternal feelings, increasing the cheeseability of their milk!

Seriously though, returning to your question of classical vs punk, in bovine experiments, "the girl's" milk production increased noticeably when they listened to Classical Music in the barn, particularly Mozart, rather that any other kind. Does that make it sexy? Or what?


What makes sexy canary song...coming soon.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A little something...

Hawks coming up in the post below this one, but first a little something to brighten up the day from Eleanor Tauber, Central Park's newest nature photographer.

photographs by Eleanor Tauber


Phot ograph by Donegal Browne

An email from John Blakeman, falconer and Ohio Red-tail Answer Man, in reference to an earlier observation...


You mentioned the incident where one fledgling had a parent-provided pigeon, but failed to eat it. It eventually went to the other fledgling.

From your description, it might be presumed that the unconsumed pigeon was nicely "shared" with the sibling. Let me assure you that it wasn't, in any normal sense of the word. Red-tails (along with virtually all other raptors) simply don't have such social skills. When prey is captured or held dead in talons, no other animal is going to take it away, with one possible exception, the one you described.

This is a problem falconers have had to deal with for the thousands of years of this sport. When a falconer's hawk captures prey, the hawk legitimately regards it as its own. Yes, Labrador retrievers and other hunting dogs will bring back game and drop it at the feet of the hunter. Not so with hawks. Captured food is theirs, period. When my falconry red-tail captures a fleeing cottontail rabbit, I can merely sit down and watch her fill her crop while eating for 20 minutes or so. To physically remove the captured rabbit from the hawk is to create profound anger and resentment. This can be expressed just a few minutes later when the hawk flies once again off my fist, but instead of chasing a rabbit, she just flies off to a distant tree and never returns. My loss for my very bad behavior of trying to prematurely abscond with the prey the hawk captured. Generally, we falconers can't retrieve the dead prey animal until the hawk has a pretty full crop, and then only carefully.

You were correct in your suggestion that the Divine sibling with the pigeon stepped off it and allowed the other hawk to consume it because the first bird was simply filled up. That's the only time a hawk will so agreeably step off some good meat.

Once again, these young red-tails are feeding well.

John Blakeman

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Female Birds Boost Up Their Eggs When Hearing Sexy Song

We've been told that a way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Could the way to a woman's be through her ears?

Thanks to Kentaurian for the article from

Female Birds Boost Up Their Eggs When Hearing Sexy Song

In a new study published in the latest issue of Ethology researchers show
that female songbirds can alter the size of eggs and possibly the sex
of their chicks according to how they perceive their mate's quality. The researchers played back attractive ("sexy") songs and less attractive control songs of male canaries to female domesticated canaries.

When the females started egg-laying they varied the size of their eggs
in the nest according to the attractiveness of the male's song. That is, the
more attractive the song, the larger the eggs.

However it is remarkable that while larger eggs were more likely to
contain male offspring in natural environments, in the experiment there was no
difference in brood sex ratio between the different songs played to the
females, which suggests different levels of female control.

Male birdsong has long been known to attract females and influence mate
choice decisions and even induce an alteration in the offspring's sex

This study by Leitner et al. now shows experimentally that hearing
attractive song also has a selective impact on female physiology.

45 female domesticated canaries participated in this study that was a
collaboration of Royal Holloway, University of London and the Max
Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen and Radolfzell in Germany.

The birds were kept in large aviaries where their daily behaviour was
monitored in a colony before they were tested in the song experiments.
The females showed a remarkable consistency in their behavioural and reproductive
performance and the song stimuli alone were sufficient to elicit a
profound physiological change.

This study further highlights the importance of behavioural stimuli
for reproductive physiology...

Copyright 2006 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International
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Of course we know from Pale Male's example that the way to get certain things you want is...PRESENTS! D.B.