Female frogs prefer multitasking males, study finds

Aug. 16, 2013 at 4:51 PM
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MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- A study of gray tree frogs by a University of Minnesota researcher indicates females prefer males who can multitask their mating calls.

The findings, published in the August edition of the scholarly journal Animal Behavior, concern the "trilled" mating calls of the species Hyla chrysocelis, which are voiced in a string of pulses. Typical calls range in duration from 20 to 40 pulses per call, and occur between five and 15 calls per minute.

The study says duration and rate are typically a trade-off, but females preferred calls that are simultaneously longer and more frequent.

It's not an easy thing to do, said Jessica Ward, postdoctoral researcher and lead author of the study.

"It's kind of like singing and dancing at the same time," she said, comparing it to humans choosing partners.

"It's easy to imagine that we humans might also prefer multitasking partners, such as someone who can successfully earn a good income, cook dinner, manage the finances and get the kids to soccer practice on time."

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