Unformatted text preview: sparrows develop a subsong, which is an unstructured twittering. Next, a plastic song emerges which has components of the adult song, but is more variable. Finally after 200 days, the mature song becomes permanent. The timing of the critical period is specific to each species, but the general experiment gives us a model from which to understand song learning in birds. There appears to be a genetic template that allows the young birds to learn a conspecific song. Birds can learn the songs of other species, but preferentially learn the song of their own species. Dialects and Song Variants Marler hypothesized that song dialects could be a mechanism of reproductive isolation, which results in adaptation to habitats and eventually, speciation. Dialects may serve to discriminate against strangers. If each habitat has a local variant, a conspecific new to the area would still sing like a stranger....
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- Winter '09
- Biology, Bird vocalization, Marler, temporal sound patterns