Tweet Emotion: Birds Keep Adulterous Mates in Line

A new Oxford study looks at the relationship between cheating and tweeting.

Researchers studying the Peruvian warbling antbird discovered that they usually tweet in harmony, producing a happy duet.

That's until a sexy single perceived as a rival enters the tree. To prevent her mate from going out on a limb, the female bird can "jam" her adulterous mate's song.

But the wandering male doesn't give up easily, according to findings published in Current Biology:

"The results show that, although resident pairs produced coordinated duets when responding to rival pairs, conflicts of interest caused duet coordination to break down. Specifically, females responded to unpaired sexual rivals by jamming the signals of their own mates, who in turn compensated by adjusting their signals to avoid interference." 

National Public Radio broadcast a report on adultery in the avian world. NPR reported that the researchers said the findings might shed light on the development of human music.


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